strawberries fading fast and news from your hostess

See what happens when you go get your oil changed in Eugene?  Jam ensues.  Yeah, yeah, I couldn’t resist another flat of Bentons when I passed the fruit stand on West 11th, and this time I was not sucked in to pectin-free promises, so I made a light, lovely batch of low-sugar pectin strawberry jam with pinot gris syrup and Szechuan pepper.  I used Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe for Sweet Cheeks Pinot Gris Syrup, which is basically a bottle of wine reduced by half, then fortified with sugar.  The peachy, honeysuckly aromas of the Pinot Gris were then punched up when I macerated a couple of tablespoons of Szechuan peppercorns in a still-hot half-cup of the syrup. Szechuan pepper is such a beautifully floral scent, and it complements strawberries particularly well.  With the Pinot Gris syrup?  Oh la la.

If you’re thinking about preserving strawberries this year, you should get a move on, since this hot weather is wrapping up the season very quickly.   Next up:  blueberries!

And by the way, the reason I was getting an oil change is because I’m going on a little vacation over the weekend.  During that time, I’ll be writing up a post about a fun visit and tour of my CSA, Sweetwater Farm, in Creswell the other day.  Suffice it to say, I was very impressed by the farm and the sheer breadth of the projects Farmer John and Lynn are undertaking.  If you find my blog because you’re associated with the CSA, hi and welcome!

And to everyone else who has been reading the blog, thanks for stopping by!  I’ve noticed my hits have really increased in the last few weeks, and I’m frankly amazed that so many people are interested in my grumbling.  I’d love to know more about the people who are interested in my blog: are you Oregonians?  From Eugene?  Interested in recipes?  Techniques?  Local food politics?  Please don’t be shy to comment and say hello!

3 thoughts on “strawberries fading fast and news from your hostess

  1. Pat Kight 1 July 2008 / 6:23 pm

    Well, you know me (sort of) from else-net. I’m 45 minutes north of you, interested in anything having to do with food, eating locally and generally enjoy reading what you write.

    You’re also tempting me to make jam for the first time ever, except for the fact that my sister retrieved all her canning stuff when she came to visit me last weekend. )-:

    It may be a week or two before the blueberries are out in quantity, but in the meantime, don’t miss the raspberries! The early varieties showed up in the Albany market last weekend, and now the ones in my back yard are ripening at the rate of about a cup a day. I’m in raspberry heaven!

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  2. Janet 1 July 2008 / 8:04 pm

    Ooh, we’re just doing raspberries for the first time this year. Just one or two a day, but they’re soooo sweet — they’re golden ones, I forget what variety. E’s keeping them in the container for now so we can take them with us when/if we move…

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  3. lovemyfood 4 July 2008 / 1:43 pm

    Hi :)
    I am Anna, and I like cooking, eating and reading about both…I am from Vancouver, Canada – Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries and Cherries are in full swing here now.

    What would you substitute the Szechuan pappers with if you had to pick? I am not really fond of them but the idea of the Pinot Gris + Strawberries + Peppercorns(maybe Pink ones…?) sounds really good to me…
    I made some “jam” too, no pectin though, just left it liquid so it could go over ice cream and yogurt. Yum!

    Love your blog, cheers!

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