Thanksgiving Jam: Cranberries

15 11 2009
Cranberry Field
Image by xymox via Flickr

My grandfather used to say tomatoes overproduce so that we could save some for February (by canning, of course!)  As the produce aisles in the local stores fill up with fixin’s for Thanksgiving, I hear my grandfather’s voice. Only this time, we’re talking about the bushels of cranberries, and how beautiful a jar of cranberry jam looks on the Thanksgiving table.

My sister likes jellied cranberry sauce out of the can; my mom loves her home-made chopped cranberry relish which, full of skins and fiber, is a little hard for me to digest these days. But I like the soft spread my grandfather used to make – cranberries simmered in orange juice and ginger with just enough brown sugar to be tart-sweet. Grandpa ran his cooked cranberries through a food mill after cooking to produce jam – a very different consistency than either conventional jellied cranberries or whole or chopped cranberry relishes. The taste is big and bright. No need for pectin – the cranberries bring enough pectin to the mix to produce jam. And the soft spread is much easier for me to digest.

I found this recipe in an old cookbook, and the tastes are very similar to my grandpa’s recipe. It makes three cups, which is just about enough for a big family Thanksgiving – or enough to share if you’re feeding a smaller crowd. If you want to can the jam, fill clean hot four or eight oz. jam jars and leave 1/2 inch headspace. Add lids, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, according to the USDA directions for water-bath canning. Or you can fill containers suitable for freezing, seal and cool, and freeze.

This jam will keep in the refrigerator for three to four weeks – or through the holidays, with plenty left to dress leftover turkey sandwiches or bake into jam filled holiday cookies.

Cranberry-Orange Jam

3 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries (about one 12 oz. bag)

1 1/2 cups orange juice (I juiced five large blood oranges; you can also include regular orange juice)

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

  • In a saucepan, mix together the orange juice, brown sugar and ginger. Heat the mixture, and when the sugar begins to dissolve, stir in the cranberries.
  • Cook the cranberries until they pop open, stirring over medium heat to prevent scorching. Add more orange juice or water if the mixture thickens too quickly. Cook for 15-20 minutes on medium, or until the berries break down.
  • Put the berries through a food grinder or food mill to create a puree and separate out the cranberry skins.

Once pureed, this makes about three cups of jam. Either process in a hot water bath according to USDA recommendations, freeze or keep in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 weeks.  

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Delaware State Fair Jam: Canning & preserving results

9 11 2009
The Delaware state seal.

Image via Wikipedia

Here are the shout-outs to all of the canners, preservers and jam-makers who were recognized at this year’s Delaware State Fair during its July 23 – August 1, 2009. The .pdf of the official is at the Deleware State Fair site, and this link. Next year’s Delaware State Fair will be open from July 22 – July 31, 2010.

Special recognition goes to these Judges Award winners:
Bonnie Robinson, Seaford (for Jar of Vegetables for Soup, class 0019)
Willa Scharch, Denton (for Jar of Meat Jerky, class 0021)
Alan Gravenor, Salisbury (for gift containers)
Susan Newark, Harrington (for herbal vinegars and oils)
Linda Saccardi, Milford (for Jellies & Syrups)
Laura Byrum, Milford (for Preserved Pears, class 0087)

Culinary-Sec. 1 – Canned Items
Class – Category — # of Entries
Ex. Name – City – Placement
0001 – Jar of Applesauce -·· 3 records
Scharch Willa – Denton 1
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2
Robinson Bonnie – Seaford 3
0002 – Jar of Cherries, Red ··· 2 records
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
Scharch Willa – Denton 3
0003 – Jar of Peaches, Yellow half ··· 2 records
Green Melissa – Hartly 2
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 3
0004 – Jar of Pears, half ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
0006 – Jar of Beets, sliced ··· 2 records
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
Hammond Amanda – Lincoln 2
0007 – Jar of Beets, whole ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
0008 – Jar of Carrots, sliced ··· 2 records
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 3
Scharch Willa – Denton 3
0009 – Jar of Corn, cut off cob ··· 2 records
Scharch Willa – Denton 3
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 3
0011 – Jar of String Beans, Green, cut ··· 3 records
Green Melissa – Hartly 1
Scharch Willa – Denton 2
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 3
0012 – Jar of String Beans, Green, whole ··· 3 records
Green Melissa – Hartly 1
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2
Scharch Willa – Denton 3
0014 – Jar of Vegetable, not listed ···1 record: Hammond Amanda – Lincoln 1
0015 – Jar of Tomatoes, Plum ··· 3 records
Blevin Christine – Newark 1
Scharch Willa – Denton 2
Saccardi Linda – Milford 3
0017 – Jar of Tomatoes, Red, crushed ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
0018 – Jar of Tomatoes, Red, whole ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
0019 – Jar of Vegetables for Soup ··· 1 record (also Judges Award, class 0020)
Robinson Bonnie – Seaford 1
0020 – Judge’s Award Canned Items:
Bonnie Robinson, Seaford (for Jar of Vegetables for Soup, class 0019)

Culinary-Sec. 1 – Dried Foods
0021 – Jar of Meat Jerky ··· 1 record (also Judges Award, class 0024)
Scharch Willa – Denton 1
0022 – Jar of Dried Fruit ··· 1 record: Crisman Janice – Townsend 3
0023 – Jar of Dried Vegetables ··· 4 records (no first)
Newark Susan – Harrington 2
Scharch Willa – Denton 3
Ferrell Kim – Camden Wyoming 3
Crisman Janice – Townsend 3
0024 – Judges Award – Dried Foods:
Willa Scharch, Denton (Jar of Meat Jerky, class 0021)

Culinary-Sec. 1 – Gift Containers
0025 – Four jars 1/2 or 1 pint of 1 fruit, 1 vegetable
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
Crisman Janice – Townsend 2
Robinson Bonnie – Seaford 3
0026 – Four jars 1/2 or 1 pint of 1 butter spread, 1 jam,
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
Byrum Laura – Milford 2
Robinson Bonnie – Seaford 3
0027 – Four jars 1/2 or 1 pint of sauces with labels
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
Koff Darla – Frederica 2
Robinson Bonnie – Seaford 3
0028 – Four jars 1/2 or 1 pint of tomato items with label
Koff Darla – Frederica 1
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2
Robinson Bonnie – Seaford 3
0033 – Judge’s Award Gift Containers:
Alan Gravenor, Salisbury

Culinary-Sec. 1 – Herbal Vinegars & Oils
0034 – Basil Vinegar ··· 1 record: Newark Susan – Harrington 1
0035 – Mint Vinegar ··· 2 records
Mccolley April – Harrington 1
Newark Susan – Harrington 2
0036 – Rosemary Vinegar ··· 2 records
Newark Susan – Harrington 1
Mccolley April – Harrington 2
0037 – Tarragon Vinegar ··· 1 record: Newark Susan – Harrington 1
0039 – Combination Vinegars ··· 1 record: Newark Susan – Harrington 1
0040 – Vinegar, not listed ··· 2 records
Mccolley April – Harrington 1
Newark Susan – Harrington 2
0041 – Black Peppercorn Vinaigrette ··· 1 record: Newark Susan – Harrington 1
0042 – Chili Pepper Vinaigrette ··· 1 record: Newark Susan – Harrington 1
0043 – Combination Oil Vinaigrette ··· 1 record: Newark Susan – Harrington 1
0044 – Vinaigrette, not listed ··· 1 record: Newark Susan – Harrington 2
0045 – Judge’s Award, Herbal Vinegars & Oils:
Susan Newark, Harrington

Culinary-Sec. 1 – Jellies, Syrups, Etc.
0046 – Jar of Apple Jelly ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2
0047 – Jar of Blackberry Jelly ··· 2 records
Green Melissa – Hartly 1
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2
0048 – Jar of Grape Jelly ··· 3 records
Murray Molly J. – Lewes 1
Scharch Willa – Denton 2
Saccardi Linda – Milford 3
0049 – Jar of Mint Jelly ··· 2 records
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
Murray Molly J. – Lewes 2
0050 – Jar of Peach Jelly ··· 1 record: Hammond Amanda – Lincoln 1
0051 – Jar of Pepper Jelly ··· 1 record: Muldrow Chuck – Dover 1
0052 – Jar of Plum Jelly ··· 3 records
Murray Molly J. – Lewes 1
Saccardi Linda – Milford 2
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 3
0053 – Jar of Raspberry Jelly ··· 1 record: Saccardi Linda – Milford 1
0054 – Jar of Strawberry Jelly ··· 2 records (no first)
Saccardi Linda – Milford 2
Green Melissa – Hartly 3
0055 – Jar of Jelly, not listed ··· 3 records
Scharch Willa – Denton 1
Crothers Christine – Dover 2
Saccardi Linda – Milford 3
0056 – Jar of Sugar Free Jelly ··· 1 record: Scharch Willa – Denton 1
0057 – Jar of Apple Butter ··· 2 records
Hammond Amanda – Lincoln 1
Saccardi Linda – Milford 2
0058 – Jar of Lemon Butter ··· 1 record: Klinedinst Michelle – Dagsboro 1
0059 – Jar of Butter, not listed ··· 1 record: Saccardi Linda – Milford 1
0060 – Jar of Marmalade ··· 1 record: Hammond Amanda – Lincoln 2
0061 – Jar of Blackberry Jam ··· 2 records (no first)
Dickerson Sharon – Milton 2
Hammond Amanda – Lincoln 3
0062 – Jar of Blueberry Jam ··· 3 records
Byrum Laura – Milford 1
Moore Catherine – Hartly 2
Hammond Amanda – Lincoln 3
0064 – Jar of Grape Jam ··· 2 records (no first)
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 3
Crothers Christine – Dover 3
0065 – Jar of Raspberry Jam ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
0066 – Jar of Strawberry Jam ··· 3 records
Byrum Laura – Milford 1
Murray Molly J. – Lewes 2
Hickerson III Robert – Bear 3
0067 – Jar of Jam, not listed ··· 3 records
Thorme Jack – Georgetown 1
Byrum Laura – Milford 2
Crisman Peter – Townsend 3
0068 – Jar of Sugar Free Jam ··· 3 records
Scharch Willa – Denton 1
Hammond Amanda – Lincoln 3
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 3
0069 – Jar of Blackberry Syrup ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2 (no first)
0071 – Jar of Peach Syrup ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2 (no first)
0073 – Jar of Strawberry Syrup ··· 1 record: Scharch Willa – Denton 2 (no first)
0074 – Jar of Syrup, not listed ··· 2 records
Saccardi Linda – Milford 1
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2
0075 – Judge’s Award, Jellies, Syrups, etc.:
Linda Saccardi, Milford

Culinary-Sec. 1 – Pickles,Preserves,Etc.
0076 – Jar of Pickled Beets, sliced ··· 2 records
Everett Ronda – Felton 1
Robinson Bonnie – Seaford 2
0077 – Jar of Pickled Beets, whole ··· 2 records
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
Robinson Bonnie – Seaford 2
0078 – Jar of Pickled Peppers, hot ··· 2 records
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
Hammond Amanda – Lincoln 2
0080 – Jar of Pickled Vegetable, not listed ··· 2 records
Blevin Christine – Newark 1
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2
0081 – Jar of Bread and Butter Pickles ··· 2 records (no first)
Robinson Bonnie – Seaford 2
Saccardi Linda – Milford 3
0082 – Jar of Dill Pickles ··· 3 records
Crisman Janice – Townsend 1
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2
Everett Ronda – Felton 3
0083 – Jar of Sweet Pickles ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 3 (no first)
0084 – Jar of Mustard Pickles ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 3 (no first)
0085 – Jar of Pickles, not listed ··· 2 records (no first)
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 3
Crisman Janice – Townsend 3
0086 – Jar of Preserved Peaches ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
0087 – Jar of Preserved Pears ··· 1 record: Byrum Laura – Milford 1 (also Judges Award, Pickles & Preserves, class 0104)
0088 – Jar of Preserved Strawberries ··· 1 record: Byrum Laura – Milford 2 (no first)
0091 – Jar of Pepper Relish, green and red ··· 3 records
Hammond Amanda – Lincoln 1
Robinson Bonnie – Seaford 2
Saccardi Linda – Milford 3
0092 – Jar of Zucchini Relish ··· 2 records
Saccardi Linda – Milford 1
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2
0093 – Jar of Relish, not listed ··· 3 records
Crisman Peter – Townsend 1
Dickerson Sharon – Milton 2
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 3
0094 – Jar of BBQ Sauce ··· 2 records
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
Saccardi Linda – Milford 2
0095 – Jar of Chili Sauce ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
0097 – Jar of Hot Sauce ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2 (no first)
0098 – Jar of Pizza Sauce ··· 1 record: Saccardi Linda – Milford 2 (no first)
0099 – Jar of Salsa, mild ··· 2 records (no first)
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2
Green Melissa – Hartly 3
0100 – Jar of Spaghetti Sauce, meatless ··· 1 record: Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
0101 – Jar of Tomato Ketchup ··· 2 records (no first)
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 2
Saccardi Linda – Milford 3
0103 – Jar of Tomato Sauce ··· 2 records
Gravenor Alan – Salisbury 1
Saccardi Linda – Milford 2
0104 – Judge’s Award, Pickles, Preserves, Etc.:
Laura Byrum, Milford
(for Preserved Pears, class 0087)

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North Carolina State Fair Jam: 2009 jam & canning results

28 10 2009
NCStateSeal
Image by themaxsons via Flickr

The North Carolina State Fair finishes its October 15-25 2009 run in Raleigh, North Carolina with the following jam-making and preserving results from the official state fair website.

The fair features over 200 jam, preserves, marmalade, canning and junior competitor canning and preserving categories.

http://www.ncstatefair.org/2009/General/index.htm

Results appear here. I would love to include them all for a shout-out, but there are forty-four PAGES of results in mroe categories than I can count. To see the results in a spreadsheet, which is somewhat easier to download, download the results from the website.

Congratulations to all who entered, and to those who came home with a placement or category winning ribbon.

The 2010 North Carolina State Fair will be held in Raleigh form October 14 – 24, 2010.

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Red Jam: Watermelon

1 10 2009
Wee sweet watermelon
Image by Kodamakitty via Flickr

Okay, I’ll say it out loud — one of the foods that eased me through every chemo regimen was watermelon. Winter, summer, fall, spring; whether on oxaliplatin (nothing cold) or Folfiri (everything tasted like aluminum foil) — there was one food that always tasted like food, kept me hydrated and got me over the hump between days 2 and 5 in infusion weeks…watermelon. And Taco Bell tacos (but that’s another post in another blog!)

The last of the fresh local watermelon is now in central New York supermarkets — and I thought I’d try to make watermelon jam to save a bit of summer. The recipe I tried is from an Indian foods blog written by Chandrika and called AkshayaPatra. Chandrika’s recipe makes a very small batch, although it can easily be doubled. Just remember that jam recipes are proportional: for each 2 lbs. of fruit pulp, you’ll need 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice.

I used what Wegmans calls a ‘personal watermelon’ — a perfect dark green sphere less than 8″ diameter, seedless and organic. The jam is thick, brilliant red. This recipe makes about 1 cup (the watermelon will cook down quite a bit.)

Watermelon Jam

2lbs watermelon pulp (remove pulp from rind and seed the chunks)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon lime zest (zest from about half a lime)

  • Remove the watermelon pulp from the ring and cut it into chunks. Seed the melon if seeds are present.
  • Mix the cinnamon and sugar together, and stir into the melon pulp.
  • Stir the lime juice, zest and sugar-cinnamon into the melon. Simmer about 15 minutes until the sugar has dissolved in the juice. To help break down the melon pulp, mash it in the saucepan with an immersion blender.
  • Continue to to simmer the melon-sugar mixture until it thickens and easily coats the back of a metal spoon. You can also test the jam for consistency using a spoonful of jam placed onto a very cold (frozen) plate.
  • Ladle the hot jam into sterilized jam jars and process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner according to USDA directions for canning. Alternately, allow the jam to cool in the containers and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freezer for up to a year.

Makes about 1 cup or two half-cup containers of jam.

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Alaska State Fair Jam: (Palmer) 2009 canning & preserving winners

9 09 2009
State seal of Alaska
Image via Wikipedia

After posting the winners of the classes at New York State Fair’s Canning & Preserving competions, I wondered what kinds of categories other jammers and canners across the country could find at their state fairs — and who was winning these categories in 2009. Thanks to the wide reach of the Internet,  many of the answers to my questions are only a search query away.

Alaska is so large that it has two divisions to its atate fair – one in Fairbanks, and another in Palmer. So without further ado, let’s give a shout-out to these winners of the canning and preserving categories at the Alaska State Fair (Palmer), which ran August 27 – September 7, 2009! These official results were taken from the Alaska State Fair website.

Canning Division Champions
Division 01: Junior, 12 and under: Parker Caldwell of Wasilla, AK
Division 02: Junior, 13 – 17: Kenny Larson of Palmer, AK
Division 03: Jelly: Becky Menefee of Palmer, AK
Division 04: Preserve: Robbie Johnson of Anchorage, AK
Division 05: Conserve: Nicole Bendle of Wasilla, AK
Division 06: Jam: Tanya Shanks of Palmer, AK
Division 07: Juice: Cari Lester of Wasilla, AK
Division 08: Syrup, Sauce, Blossom Honey: Sherry Whitstine of Wasilla, AK
Division 09: Sugar-Free: Robbie Johnson of Anchorage, AK
Division 10: Chutney, Relish: Robbie Johnson of Anchorage, AK
Division 11: Vinegar, Oils: Sharon Horwath of Wasilla, AK
Division 12: Pickles: Robbie Johnson of Anchorage, AK
Division 13: Vegetables: Cheri Thomas of Eagle River, AK
Division 14: Fruit: Gloria Gale of Palmer, AK
Division 15: Dried Food: Arthur Mueller of Palmer, AK
Division 17: Seafood: Elaine Martin of Wasilla, AK

Canning Special Awards
Best of Show Robbie Johnson of Anchorage, AK
Judge’s Choice Robbie Johnson of Anchorage, AK
Judge’s Choice Gloria Gale of Palmer, AK

Ball Fresh Preserving Special Award
(Fruits, Adult, First Place) Gloria Gale of Palmer, AK
(Fruits, Adult, Second Place) Gloria Gale of Palmer, AK
(Vegetables, Adult, First Place) Cheri Thomas of Eagle River, AK
(Vegetables, Adult, Second Place) Gloria Wilson of Wasilla, AK
(Pickles, Adult, First Place) Robbie Johnson of Anchorage, AK
(Pickles, Adult, Second Place) Judy Lavigne of Anchorage, AK
(Soft Spread, Adult, First Place) Michelle Hamrick of Anchorage, AK
(Soft Spread, Adult, Second Place) Janice L. Anderson of Anchorage, AK
(Fruits, Youth) Kenny Larson of Palmer, AK
(Vegetables, Youth) Kenny Larson of Palmer, AK
(Pickles, Youth) Hayden Scalis of Anchorage, AK
(Soft Spreads, Youth) Angus Shaw of Wasilla, AK

C & H Sugar Special Award (entry using C& H sugar, Judge’s Choice)
(Open, 1st Place) Robbie Johnson of Anchorage, AK
(Open, 2nd Place) Janice C. Anderson of Anchorage, AK
(Open, 3rd Place) Tanya Shanks of Palmer, AK
(Junior, 1st Place) Emma German of Palmer, AK
(Junior, 2nd Place) Kenny Larson of Palmer, AK
(Junior, 3rd Place) Parker Caldwell of Wasilla, AK

Congratulations, Alaska jammers and canners!

Do you know someone who’s won a ribbon at the county or state fair for jams, jellies, relishes, pickles or anything else jammed, preserved or canned? Send me a link to the state site, and I’ll give them a shout-out here at Kitchen Jam. And of course, if anyone would like to share your special state or county fair recipes, please contact me at gaelen2 at yahoo dot com.

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