Crabapple Jelly

We have a row of miniature apples (about the size of cherries) that grow on our block, and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with them for years. A week ago or so Zack turned me on to the “Saving the Season” canning book/memoir by Kevin West (here’s his blog), and I’ve got a pretty serious canning crush on this guy. So I followed his instructions to make crabapple jelly without store-bought pectin, instead making a pectin stock from the fruit, and it was pretty fun. I’ve had all kinds of jam trouble lately but this jelly set up really nicely (maybe too nicely, it’s pretty darn firm in the fridge.) I love adding herbs to jelly, and he recommended thyme, though in hindsight I wish I would have went with rosemary.





Summer sweets

We recently remodeled our kitchen, and the photos have been piling up and not getting posted. So here are a few shots of making strawberry freezer jam earlier this summer.

One of the most memorable flavors (and colors – that red is so vivid) from my childhood is this very jam, made not from a secret recipe but from the back of the pectin box. Funny how often I ask my mom for a recipe and she says, “Buy a packet of onion soup mix – it’s on the back.”

I can’t help but overload a peanut butter and jam sandwich with too much of this tasty jam, the peanut butter preventing it from finding purchase on one side of the bread, so instead it runs down my fingers and I’m forced to wolf it down in 4 bites. It’s safest to eat it over the sink if you don’t want to have jam all over your shirt as well.

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