2009 Production Report

Crocker Galleria Farmers' MarketLet’s start this year’s Production Report with a food-related pic, a shot from the second floor of the Crocker Galleria looking down onto the Thursday morning farmers’ market on the ground floor:

As usual, I do not list the countless jars of chocolate sauce I make, nor do i track the cocoa powders i use. However, last fall i brought several boxes of Blooker cocoa powder back from Amsterdam so as to give Americans a taste of something they can’t get here.

BOM – Blood Orange Marmalade – 1 Feb, 2 Feb, 8 Mar. The blood oranges are from Gloria’s tree, as is the token lemon. Until further notice, the lemon in all my marmalades, jams, and jellies will be from that tree.

KPJAL – Kiwi Pasilla Jalapeño Jam – 4 Feb, 1 Mar. I’m continuing last year’s experiment with using Pasilla chiles to add chile flavor complexity without excess piquancy. Actually, it’s not an experiment anymore, as i love it. [OUT OF STOCK]

BOOM – Extra Bloody Blood Orange Marmalade – 8 Mar. I discovered some blood orange juice that i’d frozen last year, so i used it instead of the water that normally goes into this marmalade. If Gloria’s tree cooperates, i’ll do this again next year, as it worked. [OUT OF STOCK]

GLJM – Gloria’s Lemon Jalapeño Marmalade – 9 Mar. Just a marmalade from Gloria’s lemons with a little bit (not enough) of pepper flavor. [OUT OF STOCK]

KHM – Kumquat Honey Marmalade – 24, 25 April. Glenn Tanimoto, my kiwi and French plum vendor at the Heart of the City Farmers’ Market, gave me six pounds of kumquats that had minor blemishes. I dug through the internet for recipe ideas, and ended up making a marmalade with honey instead of sugar. Well, hey, might as well take it all the way upscale. It worked, although i was nearly crosseyed after picking the damn seeds out of what felt like hundreds of kumquats. [OUT OF STOCK]

BPAJLL – Blueberry Pomegranate Apricot Jalapeño Jam – 24 May. Sort of cleaning out the refrigerator on this one, but interesting. [OUT OF STOCK]

RB – Raspberry Jelly – 31 May. Just a plain old Raspberry Jelly, nothing complicated. [OUT OF STOCK]

RBV – Raspberry Vinegar – 12 June. I poured boiling vinegar over the strained seeds and pulp from that last batch of raspberry jelly and let it steep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator. Then strained it through a cotton cloth. Nice color. Great taste. [OUT OF STOCK]

BBJ – Blackberry Jalapeño Jelly – 14 June, 15 July, 11 September. I put only one seeded and one whole red jalapeño in the June and July ones, so the pepper level is subtle, just enough to brighten up the flavors. Not willing let well enough alone, in the September one i used two huge red jalapeños, seeds and all. Turned out pretty hot, so this one’s definitely not for the kids. Actually, when Sr. Yerena, who is still my main berry man, tasted his jar, he remarked, “hey, i can taste the chiles.” Take that for what it’s worth. Alas, like the previous ones, it didn’t set hard. [OUT OF STOCK]

TBJ – Tayberry Jalapeño Jelly – 15, 30 June. Three whole Jalapeños in these, so you can definitely taste the pepper. [OUT OF STOCK]

CPK – Cherry Jam flavored with Patak’s Lime Relish – 18 June. I tried this last year and didn’t get much feedback until this spring, when i gave the last jar to my adorable retinologist, Dr. Anne Fung. She and her husband loved it so much that she gave me a phone call in hopes that there would still be some left. So i tried it again, and frankly, i like it better myself this year. [OUT OF STOCK]

CNPK – Cherry Nectarine Jam with Patak’s Lime Relish – 25 June. Just to be different, i tried it with half nectarines. [OUT OF STOCK]

BBV – Blackberry Vinegar – 13 July, 15 August. From the seeds and pulp from the 14 June and 15 July jellies. Tried steeping this a whole month. Flavorful. [OUT OF STOCK]

NAL – Nectarine Jam – 17 July. OK, to compensate for all the esoteric stuff recently, here’s a plain old nectarine jam with nuthin’ in it but the pulp of a couple of Gloria’s apples and the juice of a couple of her lemons. So there. Got the nectarines at the new Castro Farmers’ Market, which i am just loving at least partly because it’s not as up$cale as the Noe Valley or Ferry Plaza markets. [OUT OF STOCK]

TBV – Tayberry Vinegar – 21, 30 July. From the seeds and pulp of the June jellies. The flavor is more concentrated in the second batch. [OUT OF STOCK]

NPK – Nectarine Jam with Patak’s Lime Relish – 31 July. I used a delicate hand with the lime relish in this one so as not to overpower the nectarines. I also threw in a couple of seeded and deveined red chiles of an unfamiliar variety that look like pointed jalapeños but are much milder. Tasty. [OUT OF STOCK]

N7JAL – Nectarine Jalapeño Jam. 14 August. Trying to amp the hotness level up, i threw in seven little red seeded and deveined jalapeños. You can taste ’em but it wasn’t enough. Well, they were the littlest ones i ever saw. Months later it struck me that perhaps they weren’t jalapeños. [OUT OF STOCK]

RBJ – Raspberry Jalapeño Jam. 15 August, 11 October. I was generous with the jalapeños this time, and it has a really lovely pepper flavor without being overpowering. That said, it didn’t set well at all, so perfection remains elusive. I put one whole large red jalapeño in the 11 October one, and it turned out damn near perfectly hot, enough that you don’t have to wait to taste it, but not too hot. Hell, this one even set well. Go figure. [OUT OF STOCK]

BBJ – Blackberry Jalapeño Jam – 11 September. Not willing let well enough alone, in this one i used two huge red jalapeños, seeds and all. Turned out pretty hot, so this one’s definitely not for the kids. Actually, when Sr. Yerena, who is still my main berry man, tasted his jar, he remarked, “hey, i can taste the chiles.” Take that for what it’s worth. Alas, like the previous one, it didn’t set well. [OUT OF STOCK]

RBJV – Raspberry Jalapeño Vinegar – 15 September, 13 November. Now that i’ve figured out how to make berry-flavored vinegars, i find myself making the jellies primarily so that i’ll have the seeds and pulp to make vinegars with since everybody likes the vinegars so much. The jalapeño flavor came through nicely into the vinegar. [OUT OF STOCK]

BBJV – Blackberry Jalapeño Vinegar – 12 October. [OUT OF STOCK]

Pickled Peppers – 17 October, 24 October, 7 November, 14 November. A couple of years ago i started pouring boiling white vinegar into bottles i’d filled with little peppers. Sprinkle a few drops of the vinegar onto your spinach or anything else that needs a kick. As you deplete the vinegar, simply add more, since the peppers will “keep” in the vinegar for years. The bottle i use for myself is probably five years old. This time of year, vendors like the Herrs at the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market sell whole branches off the pepper bush, so you get a pretty mixture of red and green peppers. [OUT OF STOCK]

SAL – Strawberry Jam – 19 October. Plain old, plain old. [OUT OF STOCK]

SJAL – Strawberry Jalapeño Jam – 19 October. For the adults. [OUT OF STOCK]

GGLM – Gloria’s Green Lemon Marmalade – 10 November, 21 November. Gloria had her lemon tree pruned and gave me a big bag of green lemons so i could experiment with them. A good taste, and distinctly different from the marmalade made with her ripe lemons. Had to wait a little while before making the second batch because i took filets outta two of my fingers with the mandolin the first time around. Damn safety guard slows me down, so i put it aside and can’t find it now.

WBJC – Whole Baby Feijoa Chutney – 17 November. Got only one batch made this year, so chutney lovers better speak up.

YCGLM – Yuzu, Clementine, and Green Lemon Marmalade – 30 November. [OUT OF STOCK] I heard folks talking about the Hamada’s yuzus and thought it would be wonderful to make a marmalade of them, so i bought four pounds. Got ’em home, sliced into one, and saw the error of my ways: each half was two layers deep in big seeds. Tried using my juicer, but there were so damn many seeds that they filled the seed tray for every two pieces of fruit. So i gave up and picked the seeds out with a knife and julienned the peel. I was blind and crazy by the time i’d finished half of ’em, so i did a bunch of clementines plus one of Gloria’s green lemons leftover from Thanksgiving. One thing for sure, they don’t sell this one anywhere. And hey, in all modesty, it turned out pretty tasty even though it did set like concrete. Here’s a look into the heart of a yuzu. The upper level seeds in the right half have been removed:

Yuzu

CYM – Clementine Yuzu Marmalade – November. This one has more Clementines than Yuzus. [OUT OF STOCK]

BHM – Buddha’s Hand Marmalade – 13 December, 23 December. “Buddha’s Hand” is the fingered variety of citron. The Hamadas sell both this variety and the variety know as “Etrog” that has traditionally been used in Jewish rituals, which i mentioned to Sybil as we were shopping that i didn’t want because i didn’t want anything with religious connections. Then it struck me, whose Hand? Ah well, Buddha, schmuddha, i said, and went ahead and bought it. The marmalade turned out delicate although both batches could have been sweeter. And oh, all my marmalades seem to be setting up a bit too firm this year. Too stiff? Just stir in a little water. Next problem?

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