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Seasonal food blog of Chef Deborah at Cuvée at The Greenporter Hotel

On Jam, Friends And Preserving What Is Special

November 3rd, 2009 · 3 Comments · Breakfast, Brunch, canning, Vegetarian

Food is the ultimate connector. Whether it’s a weekly Sunday supper or an annual Thanksgiving meal, food keeps families and friends in touch over the years. Like many New Yorkers, I work too much and don’t see friends as often as I should. The other night I had dinner with a friend of 20 years and his family. We enjoyed a dinner and the warm exchange that develops between friends over many years.

When you’ve been friends with someone for many years, especially in New York where many of us are separated from our families, friends become your family. You get to know their parents and their siblings and they become a part of your personal history. That night we had dinner and I played with the their children, a two year old and a new born. We talked about mutual friends, work and life in New York and caught up on each other’s lives. Over dinner they reminded me of how much their father Milton had enjoyed a batch of preserves I gave them almost two years ago. I make different preserves and jams for our breakfast buffet at The Greenporter and sometimes package them in Mason jars as gifts for friends. In the summer you can pick the most beautiful crimson-colored raspberries along Moores Lane in Greenport, along the bike path. I use those berries in jam during July and August. This summer I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to send him more jam but I never got around to it.

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Last night Milton passed away and I never got a chance to see him again or bring him that other batch of jam. I never got a chance to thank him for his generosity and friendship.

So today I share two jam recipes and also share the thought that regardless of how important we think our work may be, we must remember that there should always be time for friends and family. In the end, none of us will ever say “I wish I worked more”. Instead we will wish we had spent more of our loved ones.

So when I make jam I will think of my friend’s father and I will make it a point to share more time and meals with my friends and my family.
-This is for Milton.

Mixed Berry Preserves

One cup of organic blueberries. They are smaller and denser than farmed ones and will hold up better during cooking process. Frozen ok.
One cup of wild raspberries if you can get them. Otherwise use organic frozen.
One cup of blackberries or small strawberries (your preference). Organic frozen ok.

2 cups of white sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of Rosewater
1/4 teaspoon of lime or orange rind

You will need a stock pot and a wooden spoon.

Add berries to stock pot and add 2 cups of sugar. Stir gently and not to often so as not to break fruit.
Resist the urge to add any liquid. Berries are full of water and you will soon see this as they simmer.
Cook on low heat for not more than 30 minutes. When finished cooking, add salt, Rosewater and rind and stir. Set aside for 20 minutes and taste again. The flavor should be subtle and tangy. Fill mason jars and leave at least 1/2 space from the top. You will need this space when heating your jars to seal the top.

Tahitian Vanilla and Orange Marmalade

Save the peels of 4 oranges
Slice thinly so as to have at least one cup of sliced peel
You will need a sauce pan.
Boil the peels in 4 cups of plain water for 20 minutes. Then strain and boil again for another 20 minutes and strain again. This will purge the bitter flavor from the peel.
Then add 1 cup of sugar to your one cup of rind along with two tablespoons of Grand Marnier and cook on very low heat for at least 20 minutes. You may need to add a few teaspoons of water or orange juice to keeps moist. Mixture should be thick.
After your marmalade has cooled, add two to three drops of Tahitian or Mexican (or other high quality Vanilla).
Add a pinch of salt at very end and stir. Set aside and taste again in another 15 minutes.

You may also “can” in Mason jars or just place in sealed container in refrigerator for up to one month.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gonzalo Gout // Nov 20, 2009 at 11:27 am

    I loved this recipe! I prepared it with tangerine juice instead of orange juice, it gave it a nice touch. By the way, you are absolutely right about friends and family. Much luck!

  • 2 banquet manager // Nov 22, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Hello,
    I just came across your blog and enjoyed it very much. I’m a banquet manager and write a blog about the daily aggravations that go with my job…from cranky chefs to nasty customers and everything in between. I hope you enjoy it. Please visit and leave a comment. Have a great day!
    Banquet Manager

  • 3 seasonedfork // Nov 23, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Nice touch Gonzalo! I will have to try it out myself. Thanks for the tip.

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