This past summer I discovered a new passion; preserves.
This all started when I came to realize in July that I had way too many tomatoes in the garden… we went a little crazy this year (like previous years) when planting the San Marzano tomato plants. I put my culinary hat on and started to think: what can I do with all of these? Then I remembered that in the summer I often make a salsa, actually it’s a uncooked fresh salsa. So it dawned on me, why not can it. And that’s when it took off. I started to give some to friends and family, then then started to tell me you should sell this stuff! So I did, at our local farmers’ market I took a booth and voila, the rest is preserved in history.
Here’s a shameless plug for my preserves; with the holidays fast approaching, did you know you can place orders for the LoveLoveFood preserves? Just sent me an email and I’ll hook you up. My preserves haven’t made it to the magazines, but they’ve made their way into some local culinary gathering around town, even some of them have been shipped (as part of a care package) to some far away land. This being said,
Being someone who loves to cook, but more importantly experiment with foods, I started to see what else could I make as a preserve with the abundance of vegetables from my garden? The logical next step in my preserve road trip was a pepper jelly. I like a bit of kick to my food (spicy), so there was no reason for me to make a plain Jane jelly, so I did a bit of research on what was the basic jelly recipe and added my gourmet touch. This is where Rubies and Diamonds Jelly was born. This apricot based jelly has 5 types of peppers in it (bell, poblano, habañero, hungarian, jalapeño and cayenne). Well, many hundreds jars of later this became my #1 seller.
As I’m a big fan of wine, I decide to see how I could incorporate this tasty liquid in my preserves. This is when a selection of wine based jellies took a life of its own. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay… and even a Peach and Brandy one.
Then Thanksgiving came around, so naturally I had to make some cranberry sauces, I made one that was sweetened with only maple syrup (which is great for diabetics like me). Then a friend of mine gave me a big bag of apples from our local orchard, so a apple cranberry sauce took shape. Not to worry, new batches will be available by November 30th, 2011 (just in time for the holiday turkey feasts).
Here are some of the preserves I created in the past 5 months.
Love and preserves