"I know for sure that everything in life happens to help us live."
Oprah Winfrey

Saturday, May 30

Oh, for pity's sake!!

First of all, my extreme apologies for being gone so long with no word. I didn't intend to be away all this time, but one day just led to another and then another, and before I knew it three weeks had gone by. Not that I've been overwhelmingly busy, just doing other stuff and trying a few new things in the kitchen. Which leads me to the title of this post...

In our neck of the woods, it's that time of year again, namely strawberry time!! Mmmm, mmm, I do love me some fresh strawberries -- piled high on strawberry shortcake, dipped whole in fruit dip, or just cut up with a little sugar in a bowl -- good stuff!

So, anyway, for several years I've been enchanted with the idea of freezer jam and decided that this was going to be the year I tried it. Soooo, we laid in a supply of berries (4 pounds) from our local orchard, a couple of packs of this and went to work.

As I said above... oh, for pity's sake!! I cannot believe how easy that was!! Just prepare and crush up the strawberries, add to the pectin and sugar, give it all a stir for a few minutes, and bada-bing, bada-boom, you got jam!! I now have five 8 oz containers in the freeezer and a little left over in the fridge. (That's with just one pack of pectin.) Easy-peasy!

Okay, so now I'm on a roll. We had already gotten a couple of bags of lemons because I wanted to zest, squeeze, and freeze so I could have it on hand instead of having to buy a lemon or two every time I needed some juice or zest. (I'm not terribly enamored of the stuff in the bottle -- a bit bitter for my liking.) In the meantime, I came across some recipes for lemon curd, which was also something I've been wanting to try. Surprisingly, one of them was a microwave recipe, so I figured "how hard can that be?"

Soooo, we zested,

squeezed with our handy-dandy new squeezer,

mixed the eggs, sugar, butter, lemon juice and zest and cooked it in the microwave. Wonder of wonders, it worked beautifully! It coated the back of a spoon like it was supposed to, it's creamy and satiny smooth with no little egg bits floating around, and is now residing comfortably in my freezer and fridge! Yes, you can freeze lemon curd!

And, even if I do say so myself (and I do,) these are both scrumdiddilyumptious!! I didn't feel like waiting awfully long for them both to set up completely, so had an english muffin with strawberry jam on one side and lemon curd on the other. Delicious! The jam is not too sweet, nice and strawberry-ish, and the lemon curd is to die for! Wonderfully tart yet light and fresh. Even if they don't set up, they'll make wonderful sauces for cakes, gingerbread, ice cream, etc.

Oh yeah, I'll be doing this again!



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