Love Found: Black Raspberry Jam (+ other stuff)

Whew! Thanksgiving cooking definitely knocked me down and stomped on my face a bit.  But I have managed to pick myself up, dust off that boot print and clean up my kitchen.  All is washed and scrubbed and mopped and scraped. Now all that is left is putting stuff away.  But since My Client is working on leftovers until Friday, I have some time.

You may think it’s love, but actually he is on the payroll.

My biggest cleaning obstacle is always the stove. Especially this one. When I purchased this stove for my jam kitchen, a friend of mine asked, “Why’d you get white?” Yeah, I know. But the thing is, when you are on a cappellini budget, cheapness counts. My main concern when purchasing the stove was not color but a couple of high output burners and a continuous grate so I can slide pots around for the chef’s equivalent of the shell game.

So, dirty stove. My stove gets mad dirty. Frying. Boiling over. The splatter. It all bakes on and is difficult to remove. The razor blade is my second best friend for stove cleaning. My first best friend is my husband, Madhava. He is really really good with the razor blade. Above is a pic of the stove after he cleaned it. Before he scraped it with a vengeance, it was unphotographable.

Today after picking my kids up from school I planned on baking cookies with them.  The same damn cookies I always make–Harriet’s Thumbprint Cookies in Spelt.  And then my son’s friend asked if he could go over the friend’s house.  And then my daughter pouted because she wanted to go, too.  And then the mom said it was okay for them both to come over. And then I was like, “But what about making cookies?”  And then my son was like, “You can just make the cookies yourself but make sure you come and get me when they are still warm.”
Uh, yeah.
Although I am no longer selling stuff on Sundays, I ran into one of my regular customers this morning.  He wanted to buy a jar of Sweet & Sour Cherry Conserve and a jar of Bengali Cauliflower Pickle.  He used to regularly buy about half of my cookies, so I thought it would be nice to gift him a few with his purchase.  Ooh. Just typing that makes me feel like I work at Clinique!
When I was searching through my inventory for some jam for the cookies, I came across a jar of Black Raspberry Jam, which if you check my store page is not even listed anymore. I thought I sold out of it but behold…one more jar!  Exciting stuff indeed since black raspberry is the pinnacle of jam.  The aroma, the flavor.  It is so…POW!  Fruit knockout.
I am also making some Saffron Cardamom Peach and Guava Peach Palm since everyone likes a little variety.  It is a double batch which means my husband and kids can eat twice as many as they could if I only made a single batch.
This Saturday is the LSAT and after that winter citrus jam mode and holiday cookie baking will be in full swing.  If you are on my gift list, you can probably guess what kind of stuff will be arriving from Sabjiata Claus.
As for the LSAT–I really would like to do well, but the more I study the lousier I score.  So, looks like I will be replenishing the Sabjimata stock as if jam making was my life forever more. Actually, I love jam making, but it  does not pay the bills.  The personal cheffing does. But what a pain in the butt that is!  Like, I like My Client.  Really, I do.  But despite him being a man, he actually has…ideas.  Can you imagine that!  He really thinks about what he wants to eat and I am accomodating. You know, I think that sort of thing falls under the personal chef job description.  But honestly, I prefer cooking for a man who has no input on how I do stuff in the kitchen.  Who’s only dietary preference is broccoli and artichokes.  Who will scrape my freaking dirty stove at the end of the night.  That’s right.  I prefer cooking for my husband.
But he doesn’t pay me $18 an hour.
So, personal chef it is.  I am.  
Sorry to complain.  The job is good.  The clean up, however, is a bitch.
But honestly, I am happy with my job; it suits me well, utilizes my talents and allows me to do something I am good at (note to self:  you hate positive affirmations).  Seriously, My Client is a good fit for me because he forces me to experiment (and does not complain if the experiment goes awry…and he has to eat it) and this expands my cooking repertoire.
And with that little meditation, let me share with you the recipe I used for My Client’s salad dressing this past festive Friday.  It is a thick vinaigrette, tangy and yummy.  

Like the success of most recipes, the quality of your ingredients will greatly effect the taste. Just throw all the ingredients in a blender and press the “blend” button. Instant salad dressing.

Raspberry Vinaigrette

1 c.  raspberry vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
2 c. olive oil
1 c. pure maple syrup
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp. salt

And if you never used fresh tarragon before, you will definitely be enchanted by the results.

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