2019 Production Report

EBOM – Early Blood Orange Marmalade (1/7) The last of the unripe blood oranges picked for me by Erik Olsen. Yum.

Pickled Brussels Sprouts (1/13, 1/23, 1/28, 4/1) Found some excellent ones at Lou Iacopi’s stall at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market. He knows how good his produce is, and he prices it accordingly. The next week i found some tiny ones at the Alemany Farmers’ Market that weren’t as nice as Iacopi’s but were plenty good and two-thirds the price. In all the batches of pickles i add half of a Thai chile to half of ’em and a whole Piper longum, the Indian long black pepper, to the other half. Later batches were mostly from the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market.

LLM – Lisbon Lemon Marmalade (2/4, 2/15, 2/22) I spotted some gorgeous ones at the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market and snapped up five pounds. Ended up cooking the marmalade too long, so it set up hard. This batch is for folks who like to slice their marmalade. It is ridiculously easy to overcook marmalades because they go from runny to hard in a few moments, and of course you can’t really see you’ve cooked it too long when it’s boiling away in the pot. That said, hard marmalade tastes every bit as good as softer, and i was particularly pleased with the pure clean lemon taste in this batch. Nice change from the orange marmalades.

I bought the lemons for the second batch from Twin Girls at the Mission Market for only $2/lb. and this time made myself pay close watch so i could jar it before it had cooked too long to be spreadable. This time i erred in the opposite direction and ended up with a marmalade a bit on the runny side.

What i’m going to have to do with marmalades now since there is so little leeway between runny and stiff is to sit on my cooking stool in front of the pot after it gets near the end and watch it like a hawk until it hits the perfect moment. Alas, i ran it a bit too long on the third batch, so it’s back to too stiff. Good grief, is that ever a narrow window. I was somewhat reassured, though, when i complained bitterly about this to the legendary Liz Crane and she said she had the same problem…and proved it by offering me a sample of a delicious but somewhat runny marmalade of hers.

Pickled Snow Peas (2/16, 4/4) The Herrs at the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market will not be growing snow peas this year, and i don’t recall seeing them at other vendors. On the other hand, my main Mexican market, Casa Guadalupe, usually has them. So i went there, gave ’em a close look, and decided the quality was quite good. Thus this batch of a favorite pickle. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for ’em at my farmers’ markets, but i remind myself that some fruits (others being the pineapple, durian, and mango) are simply not available at SF farmers’ markets, and i eat them anyhow. I found the ones for the second batch at the Alemany Farmers’ Market.

Pickled snow peas

Pickled Green Garlic (2/18) I felt downright smug when i realized that i could take advantage of the cruelly short green garlic season by pickling some of it. I’d never done this before, so i had to guess about how long to process it and settled on 4 minutes to tenderize them a bit without making them all mushy. One of the jars i used did not have lid that would make a tight seal, which was just as well because that way i could test the contents. Took ’em down to my games group the next afternoon, and at the intermission plucked one out and chomped off a bite. Ummm, tried to, but it was way too fibrous. I include this failure as an indicator that i’m telling all here, and not all attempts are successful. I’ll use these in cooking.

Pickled Beets (3/2) I made these at some point earlier this year and forgot to list them here, so this is just the latest batch. It is a mixed success. A success in that i was able to find at the Alemany Farmers’ Market this morning loose organic beets for $2/lb so i grabbed 4 pounds. Better yet, these were larger beets of a size that sliced would have the same diameter as the large jars i was using. I got an assembly line going and powered right through the production in relatively short order, but then remembered after the jars were all sealed and briefly processed that i’d neglected to add the sugar. So i put a note on each jar suggesting that the recipient pop the jar open, add a spoonful of sugar, and shake it good before storing it in the refrigerator. Grrrr. Did this again the next week with golden beets and again forgot to add the sugar. This time, however, i remembered it shortly after i’d jarred them, so i popped ’em open, threw in a large spoonful of sugar, and recapped them. Whaddya know, but all the jars were still warm enough to pop the buttons back down when they finished cooling.

K – Kiwi Jam (3/5, 3/16) Yes, the kiwis are in season now. Thus, this jam.

SSOM – Semi-sweet Orange Marmalade (3/10) Sybil’s daughter Karin picked the oranges off her tree in San Rafael and gave them to Sybil for me. They make a good marmalade because they’re not real sweet.

MC – Mango Chutney (3/18, 4/1) Ha! I finally found some mangoes from Mexico and snapped them up because i refuse to buy mangoes flown in from South America. I used about a quarter of a jar of Patak’s Hot Lime Relish plus two jalapeños, seeds and veins and all, so even though the end product is not blindingly hot, the capsaicin is right up front.

SB – Strawberry Jam (4/5) I picked up half a flat of Yerena’s first-of-the-season strawberries and schmoozed with him a bit since we hadn’t seen each other since last fall. Cooked this batch down well.

PLLM – Ponderosa Lisbon Lemon Marmalade (4/5) Sybil’s daughter Karin gave me a couple of pounds of Ponderosa Lemons from her tree, and i bought three pounds of Lisbon Lemons from Twin Girls to get a full five pounds to make this batch of marmalade.

KJ – Kiwi Jalapeño Jam (4/7) I put one seeded and deveined Jalapeño into this batch, and it was quite sufficient.

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