Monthly Archives: March 2009
In Pennsylvania the strawberries came in end of April/beginning of May and hung around just long enough for the June sun to shed a little sunlight on them. Florida, on the other hand, has months of strawberries, which makes the jam making process more enjoyable. If Pennsylvania was a strawberry jam sprint, Florida is a a meandering stroll. One week jam, one week off, another week more berries to boil. No hurries. No worries. Plenty of time to linger.
This weekend I lingered over a few pots of strawberry jam. All of the jam I made was super low in sugar–only 15%. And due to the size of my business (very very small) and difficulties getting natural evaporated cane juice, Sabjimata has officially switched to organic evaporated cane juice.
My favorite batches this weekend were the pots of Strawberry Basil Conserve. Because these jams are officially too low in sugar to legally be labeled as jam, you have my guarantee that this stuff is full of the sweetness of fresh strawberries and the earthy herbal warmth of basil. And yes, this combination may strike some as odd. And yes, it may remind you a bit of strawberry pizza. But if you have an Italian bone in your body (or an attraction to Italian bones) this jam will certainly put the ba-da in your bing.
That’s not to say that the Strawberry Vanilla Bean Conserve lacks any attention. Again, low sugar and high fruit equals big yum in a jam jar. Madagascar vanilla bean added in abundance gives this jam strong accents of pure vanilla flavor. Extra-long Madagascar vanilla beans, which have been on the vine the longest–allowing for the deepest vanilla flavor to develop, were scraped and the pods and beans added to the boiling berries. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world, right behind saffron (Sabjimata’s favorite flavor). There is no skimping on this jam. Fresh Florida berries, organic evaporated cane juice and lots and lots of real natural vanilla beans speckle this jam.
Both flavors are available in 9.5 ounce and 4 ounce jars from the Sabjimata Store. More strawberry fun is on its way. The season ends in June so please check the store or blog regularly to see what new combinations manifest from the pots of Sabjimata.
A few days ago my husband went up to DC…and returned with a cooler full of Yuan Fu–my favorite kosher vegan food from the DC metro area (the restaurant is actually located in Rockville, Maryland). Sometimes I wonder why we didn’t just move to DC so that we could eat regularly at this onion and garlic free Chinese place. Having grown up Jewish, I can say without hesitation that (American ) Chinese food is definitely my favorite cuisine! And then I go on Realtor.com and see that despite the dip in real estate prices, we would still only be able to buy a place 2 hours away–minimum. Turns out its cheaper to drive up to DC and get take out once in a while.
We are all Yuan-Fu’ed out. Unfortunately it is all gone–we’ve been feasting on it for a few days now. But thankfully we will have another go at it come May when we drive north to attend the graduation of my 73 year old mother from Rutgers University. Go mom!
Ever since Radharadhya came and wowed us with his real life Neapolitan pie back in February my son has been asking me to whip up some pizza “like Radhyaradhya makes.” After a bribe of 50lbs of King Arthur Special Flour shipped to his door, the recipe was mine. RR even threw in his sauce recipe as a bonus. In exchange for the recipe (apparently the flour wasn’t enough) I had to swear to secrecy. I cannot even give you a hint of the recipes. RR means business. Pizzeria business.
Today is Ekadasi, a bi-monthly fast day observed by Hindus and Jains throughout the world. There are different degrees of observance, the most basic being fasting from grains and beans. A simple Ekadasi snack that I prepare for my kids every Ekadasi is toasted lotus puffies, or phool makhana.