A jam, or a butter, or a conserve? Honestly, I don’t even know. Do you ever have those food preserving (or cooking, or baking, etc.) moments when you think to yourself, “I have no freaking clue what I’m making, but… fingers crossed it works and tastes half way decent”? My sentiments Thursday evening when I was asked, “remind me again, what is it exactly that you’re making?!” While perusing the local farmers’ market last weekend, post yoga, hungry, and feeling creative, I found myself day dreaming of the savory flavors of the roasted onion jam that I made a couple years ago. Caught in that late winter come early spring produce limbo (i.e. no fresh fruits or anything close to resembling it), I found myself thinking, “aside from pickles what other preservation method can I employee this week?” I spotted a bountiful bunch of carrots and scallions at the Maple Springs Garden farm stand and thought to myself, “is carrot jam even a thing? hmm…”.
Sweet, tart, weirdly apricot tasting, and somewhat resembling something you may have tasted at an Asian restaurant, the set of this experimental jam shocked me when I woke up this morning. “Holy crap it worked!” I find myself torn over whether to call this a jam or a butter as the texture is more of a butter, but the preservation method follows that of a classic jam. Nonetheless, enjoy this roasted carrot jam atop toasted bread or savory crackers, paired with a mild cheese and salty cured meat.
What’s better than late night baking? Late night baking with minimal ingredients and slightly intoxicated friends! Years ago while I was living in Rohnert Park, CA, every so often (cough… nightly) I would make late night runs to the 24hr grocery store for ingredients to satisfy my sweet tooth. Typically a chocolate bar would suffice, but occasionally I would go crazy and splurge and go for more grandiose things like cookies, ice cream, or chocolate milk (oh my). Naturally, every semester before and during finals week the frequency of my visits would increase and I realized that I wasn’t alone in this late night routine. Not only did the checkout lines get longer, but I started to notice a trend in what people were buying after 10pm in this college town. My unpublished results showed that before and during exam week that 75+% of people were visiting the grocer for some sort of sweet: candy, ice cream, cookies, etc. Next was salty snacks or beer, followed by fresh fruit (clean food, clean mind… blah, blah, blah) and condoms (I swear Mom, they were NOT mine).