The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 28, 1999


Recipies: It's that Time of Year to Start Thinking about Jams and Jellies

If judges can be found, Carlisle's Old Home Day committee is considering adding a jams, jellies, conserves and chutneys competition this year. If you would like to volunteer for this delicious job, call Beth Fielding at 371-0826. And if you are looking for some ideas to spur you on to compete or to be a judge, here are several suggestions and recipes for you to experiment with or try out before the July 3 celebration.

Tart Dried-Cherry Chutney

Ellen Rauch, Gleason Library director, serves this chutney with pork or chicken, thinned as a glaze or sharing a bit with each forkful.

2 c. dried cherries 2 T. fresh lemon juice

1 1/4 c. sugar 1 c. red wine vinegar

1/2 c. sweet onion 1/2 t. coriander

1/4 c. celery 1/2 t. cumin

1 T. minced hot pepper 1/4 t. cloves

1/2 t. grated lemon 1/2 t. cinnamon (or cinnamon stick,

1 c. water removed after cooking

Bring all ingredients to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 45 minutes or until thick. (Could be microwaved.) Makes about 2 cups.

Rhubarb Conserve

As the rhubarb patch in the corner of her garden sends up its leafy reddish-green stalks, Marilyn Harte starts to think of her family's favorite breakfast spreadRhubarb Conserve. It's a recipe handed down from her grandmother to her mother, written out in longhand on the back of a Madison Public Schools class record card, a form used by her father at West High School where he taught for many years, in Madison, Wisconsin. She is amazed that she can still read the recipe, scrawled out in pencil, now splattered with stains of orange juice and rhubarb sauce that has accumulated over years of use.

3 lbs. rhubarb, cut in pieces, 1 orange rind, ground up

two to three inches 1 c. chopped nuts

3 lbs. sugar 1/2 t. salt

1 package pitted dates, cut up juice of three oranges

Put everything, except the nuts, into a kettle and cook for 20 minutes. Add nuts, pour into jelly jars and cover with paraffin. Let cool 24 hours and cap.

Grape Jam

Marjorie Johnson's children like to skin the grapes. The pulled stem leaves a little hole. Pinch the grapes at the other end and the inner pulp pops out.

2 quarts stemmed Concord grapes 6 c. sugar

1. Separate pulp from skin of grapes. If desired, chop skins in the food blender or chopper. Cook gently 15 to 20 minutes, adding only enough water to prevent sticking.

2. Cook the pulp, skins and sugar. Bring slowly to boiling, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly almost to jellying point about 10 minutes. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.

3. (Eat or) Pour, boiling hot, into hot jars, leave 1/4-inch head space. Adjust caps. Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield: about 3 pints.

Peach Jam

2 quarts crushed, peeled peaches 1/2 c. water 6 c. sugar

1. Combine peaches and water; cook gently 10 minutes. Add sugar; slowly bring to boiling, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly until thick, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

2. (Eat or) Pour, boiling hot, into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Adjust caps. Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield: about 4 pints.

Yellow Tomato Conserve

I serve this conserve on toast, croissants, or as a savory with Bremmer Wafers. Warm over vanilla ice cream it is to die for. It also works well with warm leftover chicken or pork.

Rarely available in stores, the tomato plants grow like weeds and are available at most garden centers including Trade Secret Gardens on Maple Street.

2 quarts yellow pear-shaped tomatoes. Trim, prick or slash each

1 lemon, peeled and thinly sliced, no seeds

1/4 pound candied (crystallized) ginger

5 c. sugar

Combine all ingredients. Add one cup water. Bring to a boil; simmer for two hours or until thick.

Because one makes batch after batch of the conserve over months it helps to fit the process in with the rhythm of one's life. I usually start a batch while supper is cooking; it only takes about 15 minutes. The jars are sterilized in the dishwasher along with the dinner dishes. Give the conserve an occasional stir while passing through the kitchen in the evening. Put the paraffin on to melt (I use a coffee can set in water in an old pot from the transfer station on very low) as the children head up to bed. Once they are asleep, fill the jars, wipe the rims and seal with the paraffin.

Heddy's Basil Jelly

Heddy Kent, longtime Concord resident and prop master at Concord Players, wowed Marilyn Harte with this basil jelly recipe. Serve as a condiment with lamb or pork.

2 c. basil leaves 1 c. vinegar green food coloring

1 c. water 6 1/2 c. sugar 2 pkg. pectin

Mix and bring to a rolling boil. Boil 1 1/2 minutes. Strain, add 2 drops of green coloring and then 6 oz. (2 packages) pectin. Pour in hot jars.

Jam or Marmalade. Fruit cut in small pieces, cooked with sugar until syrup is jellylike.

Conserve or Gumbo. Thick, rich mixture of fruit cooked with sugar, usually with nuts added.

Fruit Butter or Honey. Thick, smooth sauce made from fruit cooked with sugar and strained. Seasonings are often added.

Preserves. Fruit canned in sugar syrup, thinner than for jam. The fruit is usually left whole or in fairly large pieces.

Shrub. Fruit juice and sugar mixed with mild vinegar, rum or brandy. Served over ice.

Chutney. A spicy mixture of fruit and seasoning such as currants or raisins, ginger, chilies, garlic, and mustard seed and vinegar. Serve with curries, cold meats, sausages, and stews.

"Perfect jelly is of appetizing flavor; beautifully colored and translucent; tender enough to cut easily with a spoon, yet firm enough to hold its shape when turned from the glass."

Beth Fielding, Old Home Day Co-coordinator, makes jam in her bread machine! She mixes berries (usually blueberries) sugar, lemon juice and pectin in the machine, turns it on, andprestoan hour and a half later, jam. Marjorie Johnson, Old Home Day Art Show Coordinator, swears by these recipes from the Ball Blue Book ($5.95, 1-800-392-2575), the classic from the canning jar people. Her favorites are grape jam and peach jam. Marilyn Harte votes for the freezer jam recipe off the back of the Sure-Jell package. The pectin, sugar and water are cooked together and poured over the fruit. Pour into jars and freeze.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito