“One must maintain a little bittle of summer, even in the middle of winter.”
-Henry David Thoreau
I saw that quote the other day and it struck me, probably because I related it to the blog. How could I not, really? In a few ways…one, canning & preserving. Aren’t the two of those things doing exactly what that quote says- keeping a ‘little bittle’ of summer with us, all through fall & winter? Is that not how canning & preserving & pickling originated? Of course. And two, the very fact that I run a blog means I have an internet-based, HTML & CSS created cookbook & diary at my fingertips, 24/7/52/365. Even if my old pictures make me cringe (they’re all taken with FLASH!What the hell was I thinking?), I can look back at my summer posts on the coldest day in winter, when the snow is coming down and my toes freeze just walking to the car, just the same way I can look at those wintery posts about Shepherd’s Pie when it’s 100º outside and I sweat just thinking about having the oven on. But I digress.
The idea behind my coming up with this jam is pretty simple. I’d been thinking of a sweet/savory jam for a while now, after the success of last year’s habanero rosemary jelly & after hearing that my friend Chrisie made a blueberry-basil jam, but I just wasn’t sure what kind I wanted to make. Like most things I make, it ended up being carefully thought out, totally obsessed over and then in the end, made differently than I thought. Right away, I decided I’d do something raspberry-based. My initial idea was a raspberry-chipotle jam. I’m hugely into Mexican food, all things Mexican actually, and so chipotle just popped out at me.
One of my most prized possessions is this handpainted skull Jay got me in San Antonio, TX when he was there playing a show back in November.
He actually got me a TON of sugar skull stuff down there, all imported from Mexico: a handscreened oven mitt, a painted terracotta tile, etc, etc… and I love it all. But she’s by far my favorite. Jay got a matching more masculine one, too. We’re cheesy like that. Basically anything sugar skull themed is sure to make me smile.
Anyway, I wanted to make a spicy, savory yet still sweet jam. I was inspired by Chrisie’s blueberry-basil concoction, Mexico & it’s food/culture, and then… I saw some raspberry-chipotle sauces & salad dressings for sale. I’m out of the loop with that stuff, I’m more of a classic salad dressing & marinade girl, myself. No fruity or fancy stuff. I use Jack Daniel’s or Guinness barbecue sauce & blue cheese dressing, for goodness sake. But I figured if it makes a good sauce, it’ll probably make a damn good jam. However true to form, I had trouble finding chipotle peppers. Can I get a WTF? As a matter of fact, I couldn’t find them at all. Not in any ethnic, natural or gourmet market. I had to settle for using jalapeños, and threw a bit of cilantro in there for an added Southwestern flavor. Not that there’s anything wrong with jalapeños. I love them. They just have a very different kind of heat & flavor than chipotles, which are actually just smoked & dried red jalapeños. But the smoke was the thing I originally wanted for this jam. And yes I could’ve made my own, blah blah… but I wasn’t really in the mood to smoke & dry/dehydrate ONE jalapeño pepper myself to make 12 ounces of experimental jam. I had the berries, I needed to make the jam ASAP. So I used half of a green jalapeño I had already.
I also decided to make a very, very small batch just to test it out. How small? About three 4-oz. jars.
Yep. Super small batch! But number one, I wasn’t at all 100% confident in it’s deliciousness and two, how much raspberry-jalapeño-cilantro jam does one person need? Not that much really. Even if you do love it, you can only eat so much of it. And that’s another reason I like having the 4-ounce jars around, because they’re excellent for experimental jams & jellies (and also for overflow; a.k.a. the bit left over after you fill your jars up that isn’t quite enough for a full jar). You don’t have to feel horrible about tossing it (if it’s crappy) when it’s only one or two tiny jars worth. Unfortunately, the 4-ounce jars are insanely hard to find. At least around here. My dad managed to pick me up a case at a Walmart recently, but I’ve only found them ONE other time in a store and it was around Christmas.
The ingredients are pretty easy to remember: raspberries, sugar, freshly squeezed lime juice, one half of a jalapeño, and fresh cut cilantro. I adapted a basic raspberry jam recipe to suit my needs and just added the pepper. I tossed in some roughly chopped cilantro at the end, right before removing it from the heat. I’m giving you my recipe, but of course it can be changed slightly to adapt it to you. If you prefer more heat, add the entire pepper… for less heat, use a pepper that isn’t so hot. You can also use a Serrano or Anaheim pepper. If you like more cilantro, add more. If you don’t like cilantro, take it out altogether. Because it’s such a small recipe, you can also double and even triple it with good results. You don’t need any added pectin. I’m not really sure why people use commercial pectin with blackberries, raspberries & blueberries. You don’t need it. If you dislike the seeds, you can remove them. I find they add a nice texture, plus they’re healthy. But if you really hate ’em, this blog has a recipe for seedless raspberry jam that you can get some seed-removal tips from.
Makes about three 4-ounce jars
- 8 ounces fresh raspberries, washed
- 8 ounces granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- half of one jalapeño pepper (or more or less, depending on taste), chopped or diced
- a tablespoon or two roughly chopped cilantro leaves
- Place the raspberries in a medium saucepan. Using the back of a wooden spoon, crush them as best you can. Add the sugar and lime juice, then stir.
- Turn the heat on medium and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chopped jalapeño. Keep cooking it until it reaches the desired thickness (or “set”; this can be different times for different people/ovens/pots). Turn off the heat and add the cilantro, stirring until it’s combined.
- Ladle the jam into your hot, sterilized jars. Wipe rims, place lids, and process for 10 minutes.
If you can find chipotles, or you have them already, feel free to use some finely diced chipotle in this. The smokiness would be fantastic, and you can use a little more of them than jalapeños without burning someone’s mouth off with the holy-crap-I-was-unprepared-for-the-hotness-in-a-raspberry-jam stuff going on in this. I actually might just have to do another version of this after I find some chipotle.
You can also add a little more lime juice if you want, or take it out altogether. I liked the tartness it added.
It looks pretty delish, doesn’t it? And it WAS. Quelle surprise. I was genuinely surprised, seriously. I didn’t have high hopes for this one for some reason, but it was definitely successful.
It’s great on a cracker- the ones above are some kind of Wheat Thins herb-y flatbread cracker thing- but it’s also good whisked with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar) and made into a salad dressing. And of course, it’d probably be excellent melted down and used as a sauce for chicken or even chicken wings. You could probably find a couple of different ways to use it. I bet it would be good with certain cheeses, too. Ooh! And on cornbread! Ohhh, the possibilities. Just endless.
I’m sure you’ve got the eating part covered. So make it. Worse comes to worse, if you don’t wildly love it- sharing is caring. Everyone loves a jar of something homemade, right? Just be sure to let them know there are hot peppers in there, or else they might get a nasty surprise & also might not want to eat much of your canned foods after that.
And for those of you thinking “Where the F&%! are the cupcakes?!” they’re coming! This week! It’s been really hot here, and I haven’t been in much of a mood for tackling frosting & things more complicated than cobblers. But have no fear. The cupcakes are coming.
Only registered users can comment.
You are a very bright individual!
I have been browsing online more than 3 hours lately, yet I never discovered any interesting article like yours.
It is lovely value sufficient for me. In my view,
if all site owners and bloggers made just right content as you did, the web will likely
be a lot more useful than ever before.
Magnificent goods from you, man. I have keep in mind your stuff prior to
and you’re simply too fantastic. I actually like what you have bought
here, really like what you’re saying and the best way
by which you are saying it. You are making it enjoyable and
you continue to care for to stay it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you.
This is actually a terrific web site.
You could definitely see your skills within the work you write.
The arena hopes for more passionate writers such
as you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.
All the time follow your heart.
I was pretty pleased to find this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for this wonderful read!!
I definitely really liked every little bit of it and i also have you saved to
fav to check out new things in your website.
Why viewers still make use of to read news papers when in this technological
world the whole thing is presented on net?
Lovely blog! I am loving it!! Will come back again.
I am bookmarking your feeds also
Hey there, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
When I look at your blog site in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads
up! Other then that, excellent blog!
I go to see everyday some web pages and blogs to read articles, however this
website gives feature based content.
Hi there, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this blog post.
It was helpful. Keep on posting!
I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website.
I’m hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future
as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get
my own, personal site now 😉
Generally I don’t learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that
this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing style has
been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice post.
This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.
I believe everything published made a lot of sense. But, what
about this? what if you wrote a catchier title? I mean, I don’t want to tell
you how to run your blog, but what if you added something to possibly get a
person’s attention? I mean CUPCAKE REHAB | est. 2007 is kinda vanilla.
You ought to glance at Yahoo’s front page
and watch how they create article headlines to get people to click.
You might try adding a video or a pic or two to get readers interested about everything’ve written. Just my opinion, it could make your posts
a little livelier.
Good way of describing, and fastidious article to obtain information regarding my presentation topic, which i am going to present
in institution of higher education.
I do trust all the concepts you have offered on your post.
They are very convincing and will definitely work.
Still, the posts are too short for starters.
Could you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.
This is very fascinating, You are a very professional blogger.
I have joined your rss feed and stay up for in quest of more
of your wonderful post. Additionally, I’ve shared your site
in my social networks
I am actually pleased to glance at this website posts
which carries lots of valuable data, thanks for providing these kinds of statistics.
Very good post. I’m going through many of these
issues as well..
After looking into a number of the blog articles on your web site,
I truly like your technique of blogging. I book-marked it to my bookmark
webpage list and will be checking back in the near future.
Take a look at my web site as well and let me know what you think.
I feel this is among the so much significant information for me.
And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna observation on few common things, The
website style is ideal, the articles is actually nice
: D. Excellent activity, cheers
Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content.
Please let me know. Thank you
Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am encountering issues with your RSS.
I don’t understand why I can’t join it. Is there anyone else having the same
RSS issues? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond?
Hurrah, that’s what I was searching for, what a data!
present here at this blog, thanks admin of this web
I have been surfing online more than three hours
today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all
web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever
Hello, i think that i saw you visited my weblog thus i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok
to use a few of your ideas!!
Comments are closed.