2012 Production Report

KPJAL – Kiwi Pasilla Jalapeño Jam. 12 January. This first item of the year got a bit more cooked than usual when i turned my back, but this jam became very popular last year when enough people worked up the nerve to try it.

BOM – Blood Orange Marmalade. 13 January. Schletewitz had just beautiful blood oranges on Wednesday, so i made a marmalade.

KJAL – Kiwi Jalapeño Jam. 23 January. Nobody at the Heart of the City Farmers Market yesterday had Pasillas, so i just went ahead and made this one with Jalapeños alone. Tried to ratchet up the hotness but even with three whole big ones in there by the time it cooked down it wasn’t very hot. That said, the Jalapeño flavor came through splendidly and maybe i’ll stick four peppers in the next batch.

KPoJAL – Kiwi Poblano Jalapeño Jam. 28 January, 31 January, 15 February. This stuff has been getting such good reviews that i went ahead and made lots. Not once, however, in all five batches (including the two earlier variants) did i get enough jalapeños in there to actually make it “hot”. Next year. I promise.

CRLM – Carol’s Rangpur Lime Marmalam. 10 March, 11 March. For more about this “marmalam”, see A Horticultural Breakthrough. For the 10 March batch i used 4 lbs. Rangpur limes and 1 lb. Meyer lemons, both of which i got from Carol’s trees. And instead of tediously slicing every damn little piece, i zapped it in the food processor so i’m calling it “marmalam” since it’s more like a jam. In the 11 March batch i used 4 lbs. Rangpur limes and a half pound each of Eureka lemons and kumquats. In both batches i held the sugar to 5 cups, so they’re both, ummmm, brisk.

Chocolate Sauce – 17 March. OK, i don’t normally mention making chocolate sauce, see my recipe, since i make it so often, but today’s special. Today i added to the sugar and 8 oz. of Guittard cocoa powder half a bar of the Lindt extra dark (85%) chocolate, which is actually quite good chocolate, and a whole a bar of the Dandelion Columbian chocolate, which is truly worthy of the gods. Everyone i’ve watched taste the chocolate sauce made with Dandelion chocolate has done something twitchy with their eyes when the sauce hit their tongue.

SAL – Strawberry Jam. 4 May. I started this one back toward the end of March and tried following the “Red, Red Strawberry Jam” recipe in Joy of Cooking, but something happened and after it cooled off in the jars and sat there for a day it had failed to set very much at all. Couldn’t bear giving it to anyone like that, so it sat there reproachfully for over a month until i finally gave up and poured it out of the jars into a pot and set it to simmering again. I was so determined to make sure it would set up well that this time i somewhat overcooked it, so now folks will practically have to pry it out of the jars. Grrrrr. On the other hand, there’s no pepper or funny flavors in this, so the kids will like it. Besides, the overcooking gave it a slightly caramalized flavor, which i find rather nice.

Pickled Sugar Snaps. 8, 16, 24 May, 10 June. The master plan this year is to do more of these and other picked vegetables, variations on the recipe for Pickled Green Beans. Stay tuned. What spurred this was making the small batch on 8 May flavored with white mustard seed, celery seed, onion slices and garlic cloves. Didn’t have any chiles in the house. Took a jar that didn’t seal to the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market for Liz, who’s notoriously pepper averse, and she immediately opened it and tried one. Extended the jar to me, and i was shocked at how good they were without pepper. She passed them around at the market, and everyone seemed to like them, including the Herrs, from whom i’d bought the beans the week before and who had never tasted them pickled. I made another batch on the 16th with black mustard seed, onion, and long pepper (Piper longum) that Sybil had given me last year. I have a feeling that the sugar snaps are going to be this year’s hot new product. And to make sure they’re a hot product, i made six jars on the 24thth and threw in a little dried, crushed red pepper. Took a jar of these to the Herrs, my Hmong vendors at the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market the next Saturday, and when Kou took a taste, he grinned. Kou’s second generation, but he’s still Hmong and loves peppers. Made eight jars on 30 May using some previously pickled jalapeño for the pepper kick. Made six bigger jars on 10 June using the dried red pepper.

RAL – Raspberry Jelly. 9 June. Nothing in this one but a flat of raspberries from Ortiz, a quart and a half of sugar, a shredded apple, and the juice of two limes.

TAL – Tayberry Jelly. 15 June. Like the previous raspberry jelly, just a flat of tayberries, two shredded apples since the raspberry jelly barely set at all, and the juice of two limes. Oh, and a couple of quarts of sugar.

CAL – Cherry Jam. 15 June. Just plain cherry jam with a shredded apple and some lime juice to thicken it.

CTJ – Cherry, Red Thai Curry Paste, and Jalapeño Jam. 17 June 2012. Threw in shredded apple and lime juice as usual, but tried to make this one a little more interesting than plain cherry jam. Succeeded.

BAL – Blackberry Jelly. 21 June 2012. Plain blackberry jelly with a shredded apple and some lime juice to thicken it.

BBNJAL – Blackberry, Nectarine, and Jalapeño Jam. 27 June 2012. Got the chile level up in this one. Not for the kiddies.

CPK – Cherry Jam flavored with Indian Lime relish and some extra jalapeños. 28 June 2012.

CC – Cherry Nectarine Chutney. 3 July 2012. Got enough chiles in this one, so it’s got a kick.

BBNPJ – Blackberry Pasilla Jalapeño Jelly. 4 July 2012. (That ‘N’ in the code is a mistake but i put it on all the jars before i realized it was spurious.) Generous with the chiles in this one, too.

Raspberry Vinegar. 9 July 2012. From the 9 June Raspberry Jelly.

SFPAL – Wild Seward Street Plum Jam. 13 July 2012. Apple and lemon in this as usual, but i wanted the personally gathered plums from Seward Street to shine through on their own, so no pepper or other strange stuff in this one. See the 11 July entry in the 2012 Journal for the story.

TBPJ – Tayberry Pasilla Jalapeño Jelly. 13 July 2012. Was thinking i’d get the chile level up to a good brightness on this one. Didn’t, so it’s too mild for the chile lovers. Stay tuned, as i’ll try again.

Pickled Thai Peppers. 14 July 2012. 18 August 2012 . My pickled peppers are getting better, mainly because i started using my standard pickling solution (3 c. water, 2 c. vinegar, 3 T. salt), adding some mustard seed and/or other herb, and using Sra. Yerena’s Jalisco technique of adding some sliced carrot, onion, and garlic. On Wednesday afternoon at the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market my Chinese vegetable vendors had had, in addition to their usual good okra, some absolutely gorgeous little Thai peppers, and i scooped up about a quart of them, astonishing the young Chinese man who was clerking as he’d never seen an old white man buy a whole bagful like that. I have to give him credit for risking the sale, but he delicately suggested that they were pretty hot. I laughed and told him i knew. What i wish i could have done is reach into the bag for a half dozen, pluck the stems off, and chew them up in front of him. But no, the explosion would have disrupted the market. Maybe next week i’ll man up and admit to him that i can’t eat the damn things myself but just pickle them for friends.

TBNM -Tayberry New Mexico Chile Jelly. 24 July 2012. Still not hot.

Blackberry Vinegar. 24 July 2012. From the 21 June Blackberry Jelly.

Blackberry Nectarine Jalapeño Vinegar. 30 July 2012. From the 27 June jam.

Blackberry Pasilla Jalapeño Vinegar. 10 August. From the 4 July jelly.

Tayberry Pasilla Jalapeño Vinegar. 20 August. From the 13 July jelly.

NFPNM – Nectarine, French Plum, New Mexico Chile Jam. 26 August 2012. Truth in Labeling Warning! OK, There aren’t any New Mexico chiles in this one. See the 26 August essay in the 2012 Journal for the full story on this strange jam.

CPL – Cherry Peach Jam. 29 August 2012. I shouldn’t be messing with this stuff until my leg heals and i can get around better, but yesterday afternoon at the Castro Farmers’ Market there was this new vendor from up in the Sierra slopes with some gorgeous Bing cherries. They have a very late season at those elevations, so i hadn’t seen any cherries in quite a while. So i felt kinda sorry for the guys since, being new, they had to set up around the corner in the low traffic area where sales are slower, so i bought a bag. And then got back here and realized that hell, now i was gonna have to make jam. When i got ’em pitted, they weren’t quite two liters (my standard jam quantity), so i threw in a couple of peaches…and the rest of those heatless peppers that i wrote about in the 26 August journal entry. Since i didn’t have an apple, i cooked it way down and it set like concrete. Won’t be a problem with this one running off the toast. Oh, and the cherry flavor predominates, can’t even really taste the peaches or peppers.

Tayberry New Mexico Chile Vinegar. 24 September. From the 24 July jelly.

RBNM – Raspberry New Mexico Chile Jelly. 12 October. The broken fibula is knitting well and i can get around quite well wearing The Boot, so i celebrated the red New Mexico chile season by making this jelly. Didn’t get enough chiles in there to get it hot, but they do flavor it nicely.

FC- Feijoa Chutney. 4, 5, 12, 13 November. I got so off schedule this year owing to the broken leg that i totally missed the French plum season and the main part of the Comice pear season. Luckily, i caught the tail end of the feijoas and made two batches of chutney with them, both batches adequately peppered. ta da. Got six pounds of teeny ones the following Sunday and made two more batches. I’m getting plenty of chiles in all of these….a mixture of New Mexicos and Jalapeños. Not for children.

Here’s the teeny feijoas in the middle of the trimming:

Raspberry New Mexico Chile Vinegar – 14 November. From the 12 October jelly.

FKC – Feijoa Kiwi Chutney. 30 November 2012. Tom Lehrer sang, “Don’t write naughty words on walls if you can’t spell” but i can spell fairly well. That code means Feijoa Kiwi Chutney. Feijoas are hardly anybody’s favorite fruit, and one of my knowledgeable food friends, i think it was Liz Crane, told me that they had a feijoa tree in their yard as a kid, and the primary use made of them was the kids chunking them at each other. Some neighbors down the street from Gloria have a tree and can’t stand them, so they give them to Gloria, who can’t stand them and gives them to me. I don’t really eat them as a fruit, but like a chutney out of them. Even so, if there were a fruit on the planet that could stand up to being cut with something else, it would be the feijoa, and since i had a bag of kiwis that were ripening faster than i could eat them, threw some into this chutney. It worked, and good thing because i made two batches.

Pickled Manzana Chiles – 30 November. Poli Yerena gave me a bag of manzana chiles, which get their name because they look like small yellow apples. Furthermore, their seeds are black like apple seeds. They are also hot as hell. Yerena says they’re related to the habañero, which sure sounds reasonable. I pickled these with a bit of carrot and onion and filled in the gaps between them with Thai chiles and a few serrano chiles. These are not for beginners, as the serranos, which are too hot for me, are the good guys.

QL – Quince Jam. 7, 13 December. We’ve read all our lives about quice jam, but who’s ever tasted it? Certainly not Matte. But Arata has been bringing them to the market of late, so i thought i’d give it a try and bought some. Got home, went online, and started looking at recipes. Omigod. There sure are a lot of very complicated ways to make quince jam. Fortunately, i have a food processor that does my shredding for me, and i made a trial batch. The 7 December batch could have been a bit sweeter, was kinda ‘lumpy’, and set like concrete. Still, it has a pleasant taste and would go well on toast or as an accompaniment to pork chops. The 14 December is smoother, a little sweeter, and set more gently.

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