Life in the Kitchen

I make my jam in a shared commercial kitchen. It’s difficult to describe the atmosphere — somewhat like a restaurant kitchen without the servers. I’m there one day a week, and there’s also a guy who makes soup which he sells frozen at Farmer’s Market, an outfit that sells carrot cake and chocolate mouse to upscale groceries and a guy with a hot dog stand where he sells home made Italian sausages. I’m a small fry in this world of tilting steam kettles and industrial ovens, but at least I’m legal. I also get the opportunity to have tasters of new products, although the difference in scale is quite apparent. This week I lined up this week’s jams on the work table with my little package of plastic spoons and the chocolate mouse guy comes out of the back with box of 10,000 tasting spoons.

The results this week were good. I made a couple of cherry jams, one with almond flavor and one called a marmalade, I guess because it has some orange in it. I prefer the one with almonds but they both came out great. I got the recipes from Linda Amendt’s book 175 best jams, jellies Marmalades and other soft spreads. I’ve been successful with her recipes, but they’re all pectin based.

In the non-pectin world, I ransacked the Canjam results,, and made rhubarb and mango, rhubarb and cinnamon, and rhubarb butter. The rhubarb and cinnamon fooled a trained chef into thinking it was strawberry. I personally love the rhubarb butter — pure essence of rhubarb and a lovely color.

I’m going to be a two markets this weekend — Issaquah on Saturday and Fremont on Sunday. It makes for a long weekend, but the first berries may be here —

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