Summer Plums and more jam
With the demands of my day gig finding time to leave town for a few days is difficult to say the least. When I do take time off it's usually to visit my parents up in the Bay Area. They're both in their 80's now so seeing them as often as I can has become a priority. It's always a pleasant respite from the daily grind being back home and enjoying my mother's garden. There are only three of the original residents (that I know) on our block remaining; the Graybeals, the Quans, and the Bornschlegels. During my visit Mrs. Bornschlegel gave us a big box of her gorgeous home-grown plums. I believe they're Santa Rosa. What a treat! Immediately I thought about making jam. But before they get reduced down to a thick, sweet, concoction I had to imbibe in the freshness of these beautiful fruits. And as we were in the middle of a heatwave, these sweet, juicy plums, nice and cold from the icebox sure hit the spot.
Plum as a jam on it's own is very good but they also make a good base to create new flavors. The first thing I thought to add was cardamom. I buy them at the Indian market as they're bound to be the freshest. I have an old mortar and pestle that belonged to my great grandfather. He likely acquired it while travelling in the South West a century ago. Stored in a box for years I released it from captivity to be reborn again as it was originally intended. I used it to crack open the dried cardamom pods. While it functions as a grinding tool it isn't quite as efficient as my old coffee grinder which processed the seeds to a fine powder. But this ancient food processor makes for a prettier picture, don't you think?
The key to super flavorful fruit jams and preserves is to pick fruit at their ripest and macerate in sugar for several hours to overnight in the icebox. This softens the flesh releasing it's juices. Adding a touch of cardamom further enhances the flavor. The result is pronounced, fresh and fruity jam. I've been swirling it in my morning yogurt the last couple of days. Mmmmm!
So, if you're interested in tasting this new flavor you may purchase jar at my online store. This is a small batch and supply is limited. So get 'em while they're hot!