I’m always looking for jam and jelly recipes that don’t call for the addition of commercial pectin. Why? Because commercial pectin requires extra sugar to balance its bitterness and I’d just as soon keep my sugar consumption down (within reason!). With marmalades, the citrus pith and seeds give you all the natural pectin you need to get a perfect jell. No worries about ending up with syrup or fruit cheese, just sweet, tart, spreadable marmalade…every time. And since Meyer lemons are pretty much my favorite citrus, Meyer lemon marmalade is pretty much my favorite marmalade.
When I’m wondering how to make a plain meal more interesting, I pull out a jar of preserved lemons. If I need a hostess gift, I bring a jar of preserved lemons. Simple to make, preserved lemons are lovely to look at and jazz up everything you add them to. Most recipes that include preserved lemons say to use only the rind, but I can’t bring myself to throw away the salty, squishy pulp. It tastes far too good to waste, so I use it along with the rinds in salads, pasta, and tagines. You can preserve other types of lemons, but the thinner skin and relative sweetness of the Meyer lemon makes them my first choice.
Limoncello is a classic Italian liqueur traditionally served ice cold as a digestive, after dinner. Frankly, I think it’s tasty enough to drink anytime. The recipe comes from southern Italy and calls for true lemons, but I like to use Meyer lemons instead. I’ve done some experimenting over the years and come up with two very different recipes that produce two very different liqueurs. If you try them both, please let me know which one you like better! Read more
As I foraged through the freezer on this snowy morning, I found a bag of pears harvested a few months back. Lots of fruit trees line the streets of my neighborhood, yet no one seems to pick the fruit. I’m not about to let those apples, apricots, plums, and peaches go to waste; I harvest on my morning walks. And this morning, I turned my suburban-foraged pears into a delicious wild-spiced pear butter, using some of my favorite foraged spices. Read more
With less than two weeks before Christmas, there’s still plenty of time to make some wild Christmas cookies, whether you plan to leave them out for Santa, or to eat them all by your lonesome. Here are some of my favorites, each with a different wild ingredient.
I don’t shop at Whole Foods regularly, but my sister does. She texted me before Thanksgiving, excited to tell me she’d bought chanterelles for us to cook and share. Imagine my surprise to find that the mushrooms Whole Foods was selling as chanterelles were, in fact, nothing of the sort. Fortunately, they were another edible mushroom, so no danger of poisoning here, but still… Shouldn’t we expect more from a respected national retailer? (That’s a rhetorical question. The answer is yes.) Ah, but it gets worse. This wasn’t an isolated incident, and Whole Foods has chosen NOT to correct the problem.
If you’re a regular reader here, you know I’ve posted a lot of sunchoke recipes. I’ve spent hours in the kitchen playing with these tubers, using them every way I could imagine. This year I went for something simple, and I’ll be darned if it’s not my favorite recipe yet. At first I thought it was too obvious to post, but a recent email from a reader convinced me otherwise. (Thank you, Mohamad.) And so I give you sunchoke purée. May you enjoy it as long as your sunchokes last (which for me is usually until about March). Read more
This was a killer year for stone fruit in Santa Fe, and I harvested loads of apricots, plums, nectarines, and peaches. After making jams, jellies, chutneys, salsas, and dried fruit, I was left with a big pile of pits, so I shoved them in the freezer, thinking there MUST be something I could do with them.
Did you know that almond extract is NOT made from almonds? It’s the apricot kernels inside the pits that give almond extract its flavor, so I decided to infuse some booze with my apricot kernels. Thus was born a new cocktail: The Almond Joy. It’s a spirit forward, slightly sweet adult beverage, named after one of my favorite candy bars. Read more
Carob powder doesn’t dissolve in water the way cocoa powder does. If you’re baking with carob, that’s fine, but if you’re making a carob-beverage, you might prefer the silky smoothness of carob syrup made by boiling the whole pods. It’s simple to do, and you’ll have the pods leftover to use in other ways. Read more
Can you believe how clickbaity that title is? (Is it still clickbait if the post actually lives up to the title?) In fact, I plan to deliver on the promise of that title, because if you’ve gone to the trouble of foraging for wild/feral grapes, juicing them, and straining the juice, I don’t want you to make this major grape jelly mistake. Read more