Friday, May 27, 2011

New Cookbook

Look what I just bought.

Because I really neeeeeeeeed another cookbook.
OK, maybe need is the wrong word.
But isn't it cute?
Does anyone else have this book:  At Our Table by Roxie Kelley, illustrated by Shelly Reeves Smith?  Are you hooked on cookbooks, too?  What are some of your favorites?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lemon-Poppyseed Jelly

Is there anything more appealing than a jar of home-preserved jam or jelly, bursting with fruit flavor fresh from the garden?
This lemon-poppyseed jelly is one of the best arguments I know for spending a couple hours in the kitchen, concocting your own fruit-infused condiments.
The most time-consuming part of the process is squeezing all the juice -- especially if your lemons, like many of mine this year, grew to be not much bigger than a quarter.
You think I'm kidding?
But in the end . . . look, oh look, at what you end up with.
Jars of tart, jelled bliss, ready to spread on a slice of homemade bread for the most perfect morning snack ever.
The recipe comes from an outstanding book called The Bountiful Kitchen by Barry Bluestein and Kevin Morrissey.  Readers of Queen of the Castle may recognize this as the book that provided me with the best fresh tomato sauce recipe in the entire universe.
You think I'm kidding?

Before making this recipe, make sure you have your canning supplies in order -- clean jars, big vat with boiling water, etc.  If canning is not your thing, just make sure you have six or eight clean jars or plastic containers to fill with your finished jelly.  You can pop it in the freezer or give it away to friends with instructions to keep it refrigerated and eat up in the next couple of months.

2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained (according to Bluestein and Morrissey, this will take about 13 lemons; my experience with itty bitty lemons, however, says just keep squeezing until you have enough -- maybe a gazillion lemons or so)
1 c. water
1 c. pure honey
1 box (1 3/4-oz.) powdered fruit pectin
3 1/2 c. sugar
1 T. poppy seeds

In large pot, combine lemon juice, water, honey, and pectin.  Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring.  I use a wire whisk to help get out all the little pectin lumps.  Once it's boiling well, add the sugar all at once and keep stirring with the whisk.  Bring back to boil and cook for precisely one minute.
Remove from heat and let sit five minutes.  Skim off foam; stir in poppy seeds.  Can, using your preferred method. 
(Mine, for jams and jellies, is simple:  I just use hot, clean Mason jars fresh from the dishwasher; fill with jelly and top with new, flat lids bought from the grocery store that have been waiting in scalding, nearly boiling water on a nearby burner; top the lid with canning jar rings, which generally come with a new box of jars; invert on a towel on the kitchen counter for five minutes; then turn right side up.  Voila!  Canned jelly.)

Labels: ,