Influence of the Blogs
I’ve been trolling the Internet looking for more recipes to try after the relative success of my first two canning efforts. There are so many beautiful food blogs out there. My humble little blog holds no comparison. Gorgeous photography and lovely stories make the dishes inviting and accessible for home cooks like me.
Food in Jars: Cranberry Marmalade with Dried Apricots
First blog I looked at was Food in Jars – the blog with the delicious blueberry jam I wrote about in my last post. Of the two it was my more successful attempt. There are so many recipes I want to try but the one that caught my eye was Cranberry Marmalade with Dried Apricots. Unseasonable yes, but sitting in my fruit bin in my fridge was a bag of “fresh” cranberries from December. Remarkably they were still in good shape. As I prepped the fruit, I looked over each and every berry and there were about ten that had to be tossed. I’m still amazed that they kept as long as they did.
I chose to make the marmalade without putting it through the canning process. I planned on using it as a condiment for roast chicken. As it turns out I’ve been using it for lunches, elevating, ever so slightly, my turkey rollups – lavosh flatbread, a thin layer of whipped cream cheese, roast turkey breast, romaine lettuce, and cranberry marmalade. I love it.
Homesick Texan: Peach Jalapeño Jam
The other recipe I tried was from the Homesick Texan. Not strictly a canning blog, what caught my eye was the recipe for Peach Jalapeño Jam. I like the idea of savory-sweet jams and this recipe looked relatively easy. I pictured Sunday morning breakfasts with warm biscuits, melting pats of butter, and generous spoonfuls of jam.
Like the Triple-Ginger Nectarine Jam, this recipe didn’t call for any added pectin. Thinking to learn from my past experience I cooked the jam for longer than it seemed necessary. I also tried the method outlined in the recipe – testing a bit of the jam on a plate that was sitting in the freezer to determine its consistency. After nearly two hours I decided it wasn’t going to thicken any more so I proceeded with the canning process.
Other than adding a bit of pectin, the only other thing I would change about this recipe was the removal of all the ribs and seeds. While the jam has the flavor of the jalapeño, there is barely any heat. I think it needs it. But overall I like the way it turned out.