3 August, 2011
Comments : 2 Posted in : Fixins, Food Finance on by : Lauri Tags: fear of cooking, food gifts, making jam, trying new recipes, use what you've got
Thou shalt not let food go bad.
Thou shalt not fear new recipes.
OK, the first one’s fairly obvious if you’re trying to watch your food budget. Here’s the secret: If you don’t overbuy and cook at home daily, you’re far more likely to catch items before they turn down the path to Ickville. Over the weekend I came home and found that my gorgeous pile of Italian plums, delivered last week with my semi-monthly package of organic produce, were still in fairly good shape, but were going a bit soft in spots. They’d also sent me four beautiful summer peaches: I’d eaten one for dessert a couple of days earlier, and intended to ‘save’ the rest, losing them, instead — they were beyond hope. Frustrated that I hadn’t made my favorite peach sorbet while I had the chance, I was determined to avoid making the same mistake with the plums. I found this extremely simple formula from Savory Sweet Life, then went to work making it my own. The finished recipe is here. I left the skins on during cooking, to make use of the natural pectin (thickener) and add beautiful, dark color to the finished product, made a slightly larger batch, and added a generous splash of sweet white wine. The finished jam was so good that I had to use all of my willpower to keep my fingers out of the strainer. Good luck with that.
I haven’t made jam in years, and was a little nervous about it. But with the power of the Internet and the incredible resources we now have at our fingertips, we no longer have any room to pretend we don’t know what to do. Don’t be afraid to follow your whims. Have an idea? Search on two or three keywords (e.g. plum, jam, easy) and add the word “recipe”, and see what comes up. Find one you like and follow it, or find four you like and develop a new recipe on your own. Sure, it could be awful. (This is highly unlikely.) But so is letting the food just go bad. Take a shot at something new, and you’ll learn something about a new dish. If it works, you might find yourself filling up your pantry or freezer for lean times ahead, one recipe at a time.. You might even have fun!