2020 Production Report

As usual, I’ll be making batches of the chocolate sauce throughout the year, too often to bother with tracking them here.

K – Kiwi Jam (01/14) A combination of first, holiday madness and then, illness made for the gap of a full month between the first jam of this year and the last of the last. Oh well, the stuff still tastes good when I get around to making it.

MC – Mango Chutney (01/26) I think I got juuuuust the right number of Jalapeños in this batch. Capsaicin up front but not overwhelming.

Pickled Beets (02/06) I’m continuing the experiment I started last year of adding no sugar at all and advising recipients to take a taste and then add precisely the amount of sugar they want. Don’t know why I didn’t think of this years ago.

LM – Lime Marmalade (02/22) I saw these limes at a good price and had a flash of inspiration. Why not make a marmalade of them. Since they’re seedless, the prep work went rapidly, and then I boiled them down, tested only to find the skins tough, added more water, boiled ’em down more, tested again only to find the skins still tough. Boiled them down still more and in exasperation decided that it would be ok if the marmalade were a bit chewy, so I jarred them. But since there was still nagging doubt, I took a jar down to the games group with a fistful of spoons and asked the gamers to take tastes and give me a rating. It was universal! Thumbs down. It is so very disheartening to have to scrape the contents of a dozen jars into the compost after you’ve put all that effort and money into a failure. I report this in a spirit of full disclosure. Yes, there are sometimes failures.

Pickled Snow Peas (2/25) Pisum sativum var. macrocarpumThese have gone over very well in the past when I’ve got them from a good vendor at the farmers’ market, but they’re not growing them now and I had to make do with grocery store produce. Should still be ok, though.

MLM – Meyer Lemon Marmalade (3/2, 3/25) Citrus x meyeri The skin on Meyer lemons is so fragile that it tends to break apart in cooking, but the taste is lovely.

Pickled asparagus (3/20, 3/24) This will be it for the pickled asparagus this year since I’ve used up all my tall, less than quart-size jars. People who like asparagus like it pickled, so get in line.

Pickled Sugar Snaps (3/24, 4/12) Pisum sativum var. macrocarpum The present sugar snap pea originated from Dr. Calvin Lamborn’s cross between a shelling pea mutant found in 1952 by Dr. M.C. Parker and a snow pea cultivar. First of the season for these, but there’ll be more since they are so very popular.

KLM – Key Lime Marmalade (3/24) Citrus aurantiifolia was brought to the West Indes by the Spanish, and the Florida population was brought there from Mexico by Henry Perrine in the mid-nineteenth century. They are a coveted lime and fetch high prices when they can be found. The currently existing Mexican lime, a distinct botanical race from the Key lime, is readily available at reasonable prices in Mexican markets in San Francisco, and unscrupulous grocers have been known to pass off Mexican limes as Key limes. So have unscrupulous marmalade makers, so I’ll go ahead and confess that the Key limes that went into this marmalade were of the Mexican race. The taste, as best I can tell is very similar if not identical, but the Mexican ones remain dark green when ripe and have a thicker skin. I had to boil this one down for quite some time to soften those little skins. It will be a while before I make it again because seeding and slicing the little things is so tedious. Get it while you can.

ELM – Eureka Lemon Marmalade (3/29, 4/28, 5/12) I made a marmalade of Citrus limon last year and it went over very well, so here it is again. And again.

SB – Strawberry Jam (4/24) My first strawberry jam of the year. I waited for a couple of weeks after strawberries made their first appearance, and these, from the Yerenas, made a good jam. Better yet, I pretty much nailed the proper consistency of the jam this time.

RLM – Rangpur Lime Marmalade (5/7) Lovely Carol came through for me with a big bag of Rangpur limes from her Potrero Hill tree. Thus this marmalade from these little treasures.

SBT – Strawberry and Thai Chile Jam (5/8) I needed to get some piquant jams for the chile lovers. So this one. I have a bag of dried Thai chiles of indeterminate age, so I used this old coffee grinder, the little vertical cylinder with a bowl on top into which you put the substance to grind. Then you press down on the clear plastic lid until everything’s ground as small as you want. Worked fine and produced Thai chiles ground fine. Put one level teaspoon in first. Kept adding teaspoons until I got to four, and still did not come up with a jam as piquant as many people like. Oh well, maybe I should change the name to “Mild Strawberry….”

RLELM – Rangpur Lime/Eureka Lemon Marmalade (5/11) See, the bag of Rangpur limes that Carol gave me turned out to weigh 7 1/2 lbs, and since I make my marmalades with five pounds of the fruit, I had 2 1/2 pounds left. So I bought 2 1/2 pounds of Eureka lemons to bring the weight up to five. Turns out that this one might be better than either of the others is by itself.

hMC – Mango Chutney (5/14) The lowercase “h” indicates that this is not as piquant as that with an uppercase “H” last December but still a bit hotter than a plain MC.

A – Apricot Jam (5/17) Arata at the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market had his first apricots. Thus this jam.

N – Nectarine Jam (5/21) Yellow nectarines are my favorite fruit and they’re now in season. I experimented this time by cutting the nectarines off their pits and then giving them a good ride in the Cuisinart so as to chop up the peels. Turned out delicious, if you ask me.

SBI – Strawberry and Italian Pepper Jam (5/22) The peppers were not very hot, so I used lots and lots of them without making the jam too hot.

CSB – Chandler Strawberry Jam (5/30) I stopped in at Yerena’s at the Mission Community Market, and he had dead ripe Chandler strawberries, so damn good that a lot of ’em went into my mouth during the stemming process. Those things are the queen of the strawberries.

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