Monday, January 14, 2013

Friends and Food Hodgepodge

Just as soon as Thanksgiving past, I got a huge craving for everything cranberry!  I satisfied the urge by making 2 batches of jam and using the leftover cranberries in salads and oatmeal bakes.

The 2 batches of jam were:
Cranberry Pear Jam to which I added minced crystallized ginger right before jarring it.
Cranberry Marmalade for which I substituted sugar for the honey.  This batch taught me that I much prefer unsulfured apricots. I don't think I used to be so sensitive to the sulfur flavor, but I definitely notice it now.

Nearly all of these batches were given away during the holidays.  I have a bag of cranberries tucked away in the freezer, which I am intending to use in a batch of Cranberry Gingerbread.

Way back in October, Jame and I spent an evening together celebrating her birthday.  We cooked a meal and ended it with this honeyed figs and mascarpone dessert from the Splendid Table.  We added a few fresh figs to it, too! This dessert is seriously sweet and can only be consumed in small quantities before it becomes too cloying.  We balanced it off with a bottle of Surly Darkness, which was a great pairing (this was Paul's contribution).

I made a lentil soup and tried to freeze some of the leftovers.  This was the first time I have had a mason jar crack in the freezer! A note to remember about the soup is way more delicious with a scoop of sauerkraut cooked into it and probably could also use a jar of tomato chunks to give the flavor more depth.

I also discovered a recipe for the best chai I have ever tasted. I altered the recipe by using a vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract, added twice the amount of cinnamon and reduced the brown sugar.  I think the orange zest is what elevates this chai to swoon worthy status.  I mix this concentrate with nearly equal parts whole milk.

Long-distance swapping has commenced!  Beth and I arranged a little cross-country food swap last month.  We offered up some recently canned items, made our selection from each other's options and shipped them (carefully wrapped, of course!).  I added in a little bit of dehydrated food samples as Beth is on the fence about getting a dehydrator. I received a jar of corn salsa and a jar of peach jam in exchange for my plums in vanilla syrup and tomato jam.  Yum!


  1. Mmm thanks for the lentil soup recipe! I'm looking for more stuff to make in my slow cooker so this will be perfect! Sorry that your jar had a crack in it though!

  2. Yay for long-distance swapping! So glad it worked out. :) We'll have to do it again some time!


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