Let’s Jam!

I’m getting better and better every year of catching our local treasures in season!  And, by local I mean just one concession over from us.  These have to be the best strawberries I’ve seen in a long time.  Bit on size and flavour!  They also filled the baskets to over flowing heaped high!

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I bought 8 of their oversized quarts and turned six of them into strawberry jam!  That gave me 12 1/2 pint and 3 pint jars.  Should do us a while!  House smells like a strawberry social! 

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The other two quarts are for fresh eating with home made whipped cream.  Life is good.  Winking smile

creamed white and green asparagus on toasted garlic rounds.

When I get it right, it’s like …ohhhh yeaaaah…. feels and tastes oh so good.

Lately I’ve been thinking about Mom’s creamed peas and salmon on toast.  She rarely made it, but for me, it was delicious!  So, tonight when I was finishing my walk with my dogs, Kizzy and Bo, I came around by our white asparagus field and decided I wanted something ‘different’ for supper, something ‘new’.  So, I walked down the last row of white asparagus, breaking off tips and on my other side was the part row Peter grew out as our green (just to please me).  I broke off some green ones as well.  I had a good bundle of white tips and green fresh stalks.  I decided to cream them and make an appetizer.  How weird is that?

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First I took my fresh white bread and used my large cutter to make the circles in slices.   I put these on a foil lined baking sheet.  I then lightly covered each side with olive oil and generously sprinkled garlic powder on the up side.  Then I set this aside.

Next I cleaned my green asparagus and chopped it into smaller pieces.  I then peeled my white asparagus tips and rinsed them.  Then I put them into a sauce pot with just enough water to cover them.  I gently boiled them until tender and flavour could leach out into the water.  I let the water reduce gently being very careful not to let it scorch.  Then I put in 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted it and gently stirred it throughout.  In a separate cup I put two tablespoons of all purpose flour into 1/2 cup of heavy cream and mixed well until it was smooth without lumps. 

I then gently stirred this into my asparagus and turned it up to a gentle boil. I let it get nice and thick.  Now I seasoned with sea salt and pepper to taste.  Be very patient with seasoning, a bit at a time, taste, season…taste.

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I then put my garlic circles under the broiler until they were nice and toasty.

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I then spooned the creamed asparagus on the rounds while fresh and hot and served as an appetizer.  OMG.  I have a real hit….so good.  Click the pics….

Too much Merlot? Make butter.

This is a little fun decadent idea I pick up when we went for our Jackson Triggs meal and tour.  After our party last week I had two opened bottles of merlot and even though occasionally I drink red wine, it’s not my favourite and I lean toward the (nummy) white ones.  I asked the chef how to make that delicious butter and even though I didn’t get measures from him, here is my first try:

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Reduce 1.5 cups merlot, gentle boil until there was about 4 teaspoons left. (hindsight, use 3 cups and reduce to 6 tsp)

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I used an unsalted butter (hindsight, use salted)  1/4 lb softened and whipped it with 2 tsp. of the merlot reduct (hindsight use 3 tsp.)

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Whip it good!

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Very creamy and I did get a hint of merlot taste but not strong enough to say Wow!  Merlot!  (see hindsights) I have to admit, the colour is so unusual it on it’s own has that wow factor that gives the entire meal that special touch. 

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Just to up it a bit more, I used my pastry bag to make it into rose buds and am now freezing them.  When I want to give that something special, I will sit a piece of fresh french bread on your side plate with it’s own little rose bud butter.  Winking smile   Don’t forget to click for the full effect. 

And let the games begin!

This year I am happy to say that I’m not rushed and everything seems to be getting done.  Thanks to Peter for helping so much with the garden and yard even though it’s still a busy time on the farm and the fact that I do have some help in the house this summer.  It’s nice when I don’t have a lot of jobs half done and stressing out about dead lines with the business and house.  Anyway, I’m off to a good start and here is my first haul of vac sealing and freezing my white asparagus for a few good meals!  I’d like to put away a bit more…white asparagus soup is one of our top 3 soups!

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