Small-Batch Fig Jam

That seems redundant, doesn’t it? Because if you find figs at the farmstand, they’re often upwards of $12-a-quart—or even a buck apiece for big ones. And if you grow them yourself, you likely eat as many as you can straight off the tree (or, say, with a little honey and yogurt . . . or…

Barbeetcue Sauce?

This is a weird one. But if you’re a fan of pickled beets, you’ll love it. And even if you think you’re not a fan of pickled beets, you might love it, too. Sweet and cinnamon-y, it’s a natural when spread on toasts—or even a bagel—over a schmear of creamy cheese. The rice vinegar’s tang…

Strawberry-Maple Jam

Time to rotate the berries. With a pint in yesterday’s LFFC sharebox, plus about a pint pulled from my own garden, plus a scruffy partial-quart leftover from the farmers market Sunday, I suddenly had a critical mass of berries, some of which were in that critical do-something-with-me-today stage. I hung onto most of my home-growns…

Alli-yum

I wasn’t keeping count until a croquet-ball-sized one landed on my little toe this morning when I opened the pantry door, but as of a couple hours ago, we had way too many onions on hand. And then I made this sweet onion marmalade. And now Sheila’s asking me to swap for more onions next week….

Blubarb Jam: A Sweet and Slippery Slope

If you’re new to making fruit preserves, blueberries are the perfect gateway. Widely available, rich in their own pectin, and relatively inexpensive, blues are a small-batch-friendly fruit. And with no hulling and no pitting, your prep is pretty much limited to a quick rinse and a scan for stray stems and bum berries. Lovely when sugared…

Great Scot: Ginger-Cantaloupe Jam

It’s late one evening in March 2001, and we’re finishing up dinner our first night in Campbeltown, Scotland. Joyce Gardiner, my dear friend Judith’s mum, places a sterling shaker on the table alongside our post-entrée cantaloupe. Pepper, I assume. Hmmm. Maybe my dad’s side of the family, who sprinkled salt and pepper on all kinds…

Honey-Sweetened Blackberry Butter

My family’s humble, lakeside cabin in northern Wisconsin is way, way up there—at the tippy top of the state, in fact, just shy of the UP, halfway across. As if a week in that fabulous place with my fabulous family weren’t enough reward, most years I also come home with a parting gift: anywhere from…

Pickleberries

This week’s pre-delivery CSA list had me prepped for more rhubarb—which was great, since I’d used up last week’s bundle making preserves Sunday. When I pulled back the lid on Tuesday’s box, though, there were strawberries instead. Superb. Sunday’s jam session had also cleaned me out of extra berries, so the switcheroo was a welcome one. I knew exactly…

Blackberry-Bourbon Jam

Vanilla beans and lemon zest make their way into most of my berry-based preserves. But last season’s final batch of blackberry jam had to settle for a tablespoon of vanilla extract; I was out of beans and didn’t want to head to the store just for that one item. It was, however, homemade extract that…

Swap-Box Hero: Strawbarb Preserves

One of the perks of being a site host is that you get to scavenge through the swap box at the end of pick-up day. This week, that meant we staff got to divvy up bundles of underloved endive and rhubarb. Thanks, but no thanks on more greens—I got plenty in my own sharebox. But…