“I suggest a sweet vermouth”, “I’d go with a dry white vermouth… Dolin Dry?”, “I agree, what about something like Cocchi Americano Bianco?”. Apparently it’s extremely easy to get booze based marmalade advice around Durham. Who would have thought? 😉 Tis the marmalade season and ’tis the booze based preserves season… Last week Marisa from Food in Jars announced a year long Mastery Challenge. As I just missed out on the Tigress Can Jam held back in 2010, I immediately jumped on the band wagon. Up first, marmalade… both a challenge for me as I’ve only made it once, and second because I knew I wanted to make it vermouth based. You may have noticed that the title of this recipe includes the word experiment. The struggle with booze based jams/jellies/marmalades is the loss of booze flavor during cooking, plus the inundant sugar necessary for a set. As my goal was to retain the vermouth flavor, I decided to play around with two different vermouths and two different marmalade processing methods. Plus, with nearly a foot of snow fall in Durham this week, I had plenty of time on my hands.
My initial hypothesis was that the 2 cups of sugar would overwhelm the flavor of a sweeter white vermouth (Cocchi Americano Bianco) and that the dry white vermouth (Dolin Dry) would offer a more pungent flavor backed by the lemon and sugar. To initially test this hypothesis I made two sugar, lemon juice, and vermouth drinks. Surprisingly, I was wrong, the Cocchi presented a stronger lingering flavor. For the first vermouth/method I followed Marisa’s small batch marmalade method found here. This resulted in a thicker consistency with less booze flavor. I figured that cooking the lemons for 55 minutes before processing them into marmalade caused too much vermouth flavor loss.
Happy December! Happy belated turkey day as well! I have an important question up for debate: when you think of warm winter boozy drinks do you think of a) hot toddies, b) hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps, c) mulled red wine, and/or d) hot cinnamon apple cider with schnapps? By no surprise, I personally think of hot cocoa with any type of booze. Recently my friend Ed invited me over to learn and assist in his homemade eggnog making shenanigans. At that point, I was pretty sure that I had tried real eggnog before. Walking in to Ed’s kitchen and laying eyes on the 2 liters of bourbon, 1 quart of brandy, and 1 quart of rum, I realized that I had not in fact tried real eggnog before, tasting our creation, 100% confirmed that uncertainty.
Following in the tradition of my last three “booze jelly” winters, I figured it was time to dust off my limited, yet growing, bar. Browsing the web, I searched for top warm winter cocktails… Schnapps, schnapps, and more schnapps. Peppermint schnapps. Knowing from experience that booze plus sugar doesn’t equal jelly, I decided to search for peppermint & apple cider cocktails. While any bartender guru (just sayin’) may find this combo a bit undetectable, I made myself a cocktail (OK two- one warm, one cold) and deemed it pretty tasty and definitely worthy of some homemade jelly play. Depending on your peppermint flavor yearnings, you may need to either up your schnapps volume (careful as this will add liquid volume adjusting your liquid to sugar to pectin ratio), or add a few drops of peppermint extract right before pouring the jelly into the jars. Warning, peppermint extract is crazy strong compared to other pantry extracts.
Dirty thirty? Thirty and flirty? What other things do people say when you turn that ripe old age of 30? Yep, today is the day, and I’d be lying if I said that I’ve had no anxiety leading up to today. Media and society has a tendency to paint turning 30 as a turning point in a woman’s life: “she should probably have her ducks in a row”… “after 30 it’s harder to stay fit”… “after 30 dumb life decisions should be avoided”… “her body begins to look like her mothers’”… and that “she is reaching her… cough… peak”! The past year has been pretty epic, tons of big changes, TONS of fun, and tons of figuring out what makes me tick/happy. While I don’t see my 30th year being all that different than my 29th, I do feel that I can chock the past year up to “getting it out of my system”. We will see… ha.
My plan was to start this blog post by talking about the magic of everything rhubarb, but then I found this video!!! There’s no way that my words could faithfully capture its majesty, so you should probably just watch it. I’m a little disappointed in myself for not knowing about this viral madness back in 2013 when it was originally released, but being late to the trend is apparently my thing… I get it, rhubarb is pretty great, but WOW, troll voiced lady really really wanted that alley-side rhubarb.
I’m having a pickle party! Tonight! People, pickles, pickletinis, pickle-backs! I’m pretty dang excited. While frantically cleaning and preparing goods for tonight (all in the midst of the impending storm of the century that is hitting the NE tonight), I figured I’d get creative with my jarred goods… more recipes to come. Originally when I put up canned chana masala earlier this summer, it was with the intentions of canning hummus. Turns out you can’t put up tahini (even though the jars were pressure canned) due to the sesame oils. This hummus recipe is intended to include this canned chana masala recipe… BUT, if you aren’t trying to make the pressure canned masala recipe, you can simply add the raw ingredients (tomatoes, spices, garlic, etc.) to the hummus before you process it. Yum.
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