All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

one jar of strawberry jam (recipe)

Oh, my, it is hot today - temperature heading to the 90's - not exactly jam-making weather, but when you're out of fresh jam, nothing gets in your way, right?  This is my quick recipe for a small amount of strawberry jam, which is pretty much the only jam I eat.  It takes maybe half an hour, start to finish.

Choose either a jam or jelly jar or glass that is somewhat heat proof (the jam will be poured into the jar/glass while still very hot), wash it well, dry, then pour hot water in halfway up the jar.  This is to temper the jar a little before you fill it with hot jam.  Set aside.

You will need:

1 heaping cup hulled and sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar

Cut up clean strawberries into a one cup measure, then place berries in a saucepan on medium heat.  Cook them for 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon all the while, then add the lemon juice and the sugar. If you want a little zing, you can add a few slices of ginger root, which I remove just before putting the jam in the jar.

Continue to stir for another 15 minutes or so, checking to see if the mixture is jelling.  You can use a candy thermometer , but it's such a small amount it's not always accurate.  I just stir, lift the spoon up sideways, and check the dripping jam - which coats the spoon and thickens very quickly.  If it seems watery, cook a little longer, but keep stirring and checking.

Pour the hot water out of the jar, and place a metal spoon in the jar or glass - an old wives tale is that it has to be silver, so who am I to challenge that?  

Scrape the jam into the glass or jar and set aside to cool.  Once cooled, you can either screw on a lid or cover with plastic wrap, if it's a glass.  Place in fridge and you're done!

Four days later - time to make another jar!

In the past, I've added cinnamon sticks, orange peel, slivers of ginger root, herbs from the garden (lemon balm and lemon verbena) - and sometimes just a handful or raspberries found on a walk.  Just don't add too much liquid/juice to the mixture or it won't jell.

Enjoy - and stay cool!

PS/  I'm a grandmother again!  A big welcome to Madelyn Skye, born 20 July in New Hampshire!  

One year ago :  Jamie's red pepper pasta sauce with lemon, parsley, and ham
Two years ago:  Fresh lemon scones with drizzle frosting

Monday, July 11, 2016

Italian turkey meatballs

Settling in finally, though I still look at that tiny gas stove warily.  But yesterday I was so hungry I finally made those turkey meatballs I love so much - perfect for snacks and/or an actual sit down supper.  They're super simple to make, quick to cook, and loaded with freshly chopped herbs.

To make you will need:

1 pound ground turkey
2 tablespoons sliced scallion tops (the green part)
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
1 extra-large egg (the egg makes the meatballs very tender)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
lots of black pepper (lost my pepper grinder in the move) - I used boxed pepper
1 or 2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil (for the cooking)

First, wash your hands.
Place the turkey, parsley, egg, thyme, salt, pepper, and scallions in a medium bowl.
Stir the mixture until it is well combined.
Pinch off tablespoon sized pieces of the mixture and roll carefully into balls, setting the balls on a platter.  The mixture is quite sticky.

Wash your hands again, then pour the olive oil into a medium sized frying pan and heat on medium.
Using a large spoon, move all the meatballs into the frying pan, cover, and cook for ten minutes.  Uncover the pan, and use the spoon to roll the meatballs over, then cover again.  Cook another ten minutes.  Take a meatball out and cut in half to make sure the ground turkey is cooked and not pink.  Remove from heat and serve - or set aside to cool before placing in the fridge.  I like to serve it with salsa, but you can also use guacamole or hummus as a side.

This usually makes about 25 meatballs, depending on size.


A year ago : kale salad with breadcrumbs and garlic
2 years ago:  fresh cherry scones with lemon zest