Preserving: Pickled Italian Plums

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Pickled Italian Plums
I've made pickled plums previously. They were the perfect level of tart and sweet (no notes of vinegar at all), and so I decided to give the recipe a try with the fruit originally intended, Italian plums (on sale the first week of September for $1.50/lb).

I let the plums sit too long and they were too ripe. It's a bit sludgy! Not sure what to do with pickled plum goop! Lump it on bread with ricotta? There was also a pint of syrup left over, which is just the best in some sparkling water. Reminiscent of my fruit shrubs days.

Italian Plum Shrub!
Pickled Italian Plums and Strawberry Kiwi Jam

Autumnal

Sunday, October 7, 2018

It's looking quite festive around here.

Autumnal

London Conference

Sunday, September 30, 2018

River Thames in London
A few months back I was in London for a week-long conference. I got there early to adapt to jet lag, which resulted in some fun tromping around my AirBnB neighborhood and elsewhere. Even snuck in some afternoon tea.

On my first day in town, freshly arrived off the plane, I sat on London's Best Bus Route for Tourism (11) and let it take me past all the sights.
Harrod's
Westminster

The next day I bummed around my AirBnB, went to afternoon tea and flopped around the British Museum to see...all of the Parthenon. I've seen its exterior twice, so why not the interior?! They have some very defensive propaganda on why Britain should keep these Greek artifacts instead of...you know, Greece. Good times.
The British Museum
Line for the Rosetta Stone
london-18 The Parthenon in the British Museum
The Parthenon in the British Museum
The Parthenon in the British Museum
The Parthenon in the British Museum

Somewhere in there I squished in a walking street art tour which was a nice way to see another part of London and experience the Indian food of Brick Lane.
Street Art Tour
Street Art Tour
Street Art Tour
Street Art Tour
Street Art Tour
Street Art Tour
Street Art Tour
Street Art Tour Street Art Tour
Street Art Tour
Street Art Tour
Street Art Tour

In my last couple days I took the metro all the way out to Kew Gardens, which was lovely.
Greenhouse
Kew Gardens
Roses
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens Kew Gardens
Bonsai
Kew Gardens
Lavender
Kew Gardens
Hedges Kew Gardens
Leading
Japanese Landscape
The rest of my 11 days was eaten up by a very lengthy and very productive conference! It was great catching up with all my old research buddies and exploring Camdentown, Notting Hill and the area around UCL.
Camden Town
Notting Hill
Dalek in the window

Strawberry Jammin'

Sunday, September 23, 2018

2018 Strawberry Preserves
Strawberries went on sale for $2/lb, which is the right price for canning cherries & strawberries (& blueberries/raspberries, if you're lucky to see them so cheap!). Peaches, plums, apricots, apples, etc. you can usually get at slightly better rates.

So. Yes. Cheap strawberries. I bought six pounds and ended up with the following:

  1. Whole Strawberries in Vanilla Syrup from Marisa McLellan's Preserving by the Pint (of FoodInJars): I ended up with 1.5 pints of the preserves and 0.75 pints of strawberry vanilla syrup (which I also hot water bath canned). The recipe predicts 1.5 pints, so close enough! Some of the jars could've stood to use more strawberries, though. At least the sauce is useful for Italian sodas, ice cream, and yogurt.

    Haven't tasted these yet, but I'm sure they're amazing. You cook them, then let them sit overnight in the fridge, and then heat them up right before canning. So, they're a bit of a pain but hopefully worth the extra effort.
    Whole Strawberries in Vanilla Syrup
  2. Small Batch Vanilla Strawberry Jam from FiJ: The third attempt! In my effort to get 3 half pints instead of the typical 2, I didn't cook the berries as long. Instead of waiting for them to reach 220 degrees, I took them out right when the mixture started hesitating before filling-in the space left by a moving spatula. Apparently, this wasn't hot enough and the jam didn't set...so instead what we actually have is Small Batch Vanilla Strawberry Preserves. We tend not to use jam as a spread too often - I end up eating homemade jams straight out of the jar! So, having preserves instead of jam is no major loss here.
    Vanilla Strawberry Preserves
  3. Small Batch Strawberry Balsamic Jam from FiJ: I haven't tried this yet, so who knows how it'll come out! I ended up with 1.25 pints, instead of 1.5 pints, which is pretty close!
    Small Batch Strawberry Balsamic Jam
  4. Strawberries went on sale again for $2/lb, and I made FoodInJar's Strawberry Kiwi Jam, but with 1.5 lbs of hilled strawberries. I scaled up the sugar & lemon, but only used 3 kiwi. Should use more next time!! (although, I haven't tried it yet, so who knows how it tastes!)
    Strawberry Kiwi Jam
Vanilla Strawberry Preserves Whole Strawberries in Vanilla Syrup Macerated Strawberries & Strawberries in Syrup

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