I have been exploring fermentation in many ways lately. I’ve got so many kobucha scobies that I’ve started naming them. I’m trying to eat more good yogurt and probiotics so I’ve started making yogurt again. I’ve said it before, but there is just something so satisfying about creating something from scratch.
I really like good plain, tart yogurt. I’ve not gotten mine to the tartness level I’d like, but I’m working on that. I usually just put a spoonful of good jam on top and swirl in it. My neighbor has gotten me addicted to this awesome and expensive fig jam. After going through a jar in a week, I figured there has to be better way.
I recall my step-mother makes jam without pectin, but aside from just watching the process, I have never made my own jam from scratch. When I started googling, I found you could use chia seeds as part of the thickening in lieu of sugar and pectin. I love my chia seeds, so that’s what I did this week.
I mostly followed a recipe I found online, but made a few tiny modifications, like reducing the sugar and increased the chia seeds slightly. I also cooked the fruit a little longer in hopes a getting a slightly thicker jam. The result is a really fresh berry flavor that tasted just like the berries of a homemade berry cobbler. Next time I’m going to cook a little longer still and add another tablespoon of chia to get it a touch thicker.
Here’s the recipe I followed, with my modifications below the ingredients list.
2 cups chopped fruit
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons honey, agave, maple syrup, or sugar, to taste
2 tablespoons chia seeds, plus more if needed
I had frozen berries in the freezer, a blend of raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry, so I tossed them in the pot frozen and turned on low until they were defrosted.
Added lemon juice (I accidentally added more than called for), brought to a low boil, stirred frequently to prevent berries from scorching and to help the fruit break down. Added 3 tablespoons sugar, stirred to dissolve and cooked about 10-15 minutes.
Added 2 ½ tablespoons chia seeds and stirred in to combine.
Poured into mason jars and allowed to cool to room temperature before sealing lid and putting in the fridge.
This will require refrigeration and should be consumed within a couple weeks. For me, based on my current yogurt and jam consumption, this recipe will work just right and won’t last long enough to go bad. It came together very quickly and easily and I’m really looking forward to trying this when my mother’s figs start to come in this summer.
This is week… I’ve lost count… in my Year of Drinking Dangerously, as one friend calls it. I do know this week was supposed to be a beer I was looking forward to, but life got the better of me.
I’ve been the mad scientist lately with brewing kombucha, growing a vinegar mother, working on some infusions, and having fun at work.
Coworker and I spent 3 hours painting happy rocks and selling them for $1 each. I’m certain most of these ended up on the purchaser’s desk and not hidden around the building as we had hoped. No matter. The goal is to make someone smile and I am calling this a win.
I had brunch with some lady friends on Saturday and took a bottle of mango kombucha I had made. I was certain this was going to get me one more eyeroll, but in fact, it got high praise. Our hostess was convinced I was trying to kill her the week before when I had her taste some kombucha from the mother batch. She liked the finished product so much, she kept the leftovers. Huge win!
With it finally cooling off here, I’ve been making quite a few infusions to save my herbs before the frost. I’ve made a lemon gin, lime tequila, lemongrass, lemon verbena, basil, sweet tea vodka, habanero honey whiskey, and have been playing with a chamomile fall flavored infusion.
I’ve been encouraging a vinegar mother for quite some time. Never before have I exercised so much patience on a project. It’s only because it is on top of the fridge and out of my direct line of sight that this is possible. Just the other day, I looked up and saw I was finally getting a lovely mother growing. It looks like lace.
Alright, enough about all my craziness. Let’s see how Meg did on her homework.
Also, if anyone wants a kombucha scoby, I have plenty to share. I’ve gone a little insane starting batches.
Well, since I haven’t done anything too outlandish since that time I danced on the tabletop, got kicked out of the library for talking too loud, and squeezed every package of charmin on the toilet paper aisle, I do not have a prison pruno story to tell. Today, anyway… No mother, I do not have any plans to get arrested or go to prison. Really. Ever.
Are you asking what pruno is and why I am, or am not, going to prison? Pruno is the fermented alcohol concoction that prisoners make with what they can find to smuggle out of the cafeteria.
Sugar + yeast + water = alcohol, and in most cases is quite yummy, at least the ones we’ve tried thus far. How do you think you’d feel if you made a fermentation of grape jelly, ketchup, prunes, potatoes, and toilet water? Sick? You are probably right.
Not only does that above concoction sound awful, potatoes are a great safe have for botulism. Per our author, on two separate occasions at a correctional facility in Arizona, a bunch of prisoners ended up in the infirmary after getting food poisoning from their potato pruno. Potatoes have been banned in that prison. That’ll teach ’em.
Since I’m not going to prison, my chances of trying real pruno are slim. So today I’m going to tell you about another homemade concoction. I’ve been experimenting with a ginger bug to make homemade ginger beer. I tend to keep my house kinda cool in the winter, so I’m just entering the season when I’ll get good fermentation. I’ll keep you posted on how it progresses. Last summer I made a really nice grapefruit and thyme soda and a crazy kick-ass spicy ginger beer.
I’m far from perfecting these, and I’m not sure I can even say I’m getting closer. What I have perfected is experimenting. In the past I’ve had success with a lavender lemonade and a cucumber lime soda.
Want some other fun fermentables? Don’t forget our friend kombucha. I haven’t had a scoby for awhile, but when I did I posted some fun cocktails. It’s been awhile, maybe time to dust those off again.
Be sure to see what Meg drank this week. I’m wishing you all a very terrific Tuesday!
Combing 2 topics into one since I’ve been remiss and haven’t posted much this week. I’ve been busy doing… nothing. sorry, nothing exciting.
So today I stopped at the library to pick up my stack on hold. More cooking and baking goodness with a dash of color and style.
Following this week’s library raid I had dinner and cocktails with the girls. Kristin has been making kombucha (for those of you who don’t know kombucha is a fermented tea that may or may not contain health benefits). So to start the evening I had a kombucha cocktail. This was yummy!
3/4z plain vodka
3/4z Hot Monkey vodka
4-5 ounces of kombucha
What a way to spend a Thursday evening. Giggling with the girls and sipping cocktails. Life is good.
Holy Moly this has been a crazy few days!
Thursday was Indulge at the Jupiter. What fun! Great drinks and amazing food. Screen Door had puffs filled with pimento cheese and mini peach cobblers with whiskey whipped cream. Lardo had their amazing bahn mi. Saint Cupcake had some of the most heavenly bites of cakey goodness. Shut up and Eat had a yummy meatball slider. Olympic Provisions had a sinfully good lineup of salamis. oh I could go on for days about the yumminess… But here’s Byron Beck’s take on the event in a pictoral (if you watch long enough you may see someone you recognize- hint-hint, toward the end)
Friday, I spent the morning at an estate sale helping my friend Renee. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the show Hoarders. Watch part of one episode and you want to throw out everything in your basement. Renee has been helping clear out a house then put on this estate sale. I helped set up Friday morning and as a bonus I got to see what was going on sale before the general public. If I had made a list of what I wanted in a perfect world, everything I came home with would have been on that list. No kidding! A glass juicer (even better- 2 juicers. The only thing better would have been if they’d been milk glass or green glass.), a meat grinder, gorgeous vintage bar glasses, 6″ cast iron skillet (needs cleaning and re-seasoning) and the mother-load of BUTTONS (think paper box- full!)
Weekend… I made a lovely kombucha martini with Lionheart pomegranate kombucha, Portland 88 and New Deal Ginger Liqueur. 2:1:1, stir and strain, served up. yummm. Tonight I made pizza with caramelized onions, figs and goat cheese. I had planned on taking a picture, but I was too hungry. It was awesome.
Coe has already crashed. Paws are twitching with dreams of chasing frisbees. I’m not far behind her.