Ohai! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Possibly my longest time without a blog post in the two-and-change years I’ve been writing this blog. I’ve had a few things going on. First, we were gone for several days at my sister-in-law’s wedding in South Carolina. It was absolutely lovely. The wedding was perfect (my husband was the officiant and he was awesome!). The ceremony was on the Ocean Course at the Kiawah Island resort, and the ceremony, dinner and reception were all outside right next to the ocean. The night was perfect. The party was hopping. The food was great. The bride was beautiful, of course, and it was so fun to see Laura and Doug looking so happy on their big day. And we ate well, and we relaxed well on the other days. The wedding was on Friday, and Saturday we just played in the pool, played in the ocean, drank some beers, ate, and then went back to the pool. Also, I’m pretty sure that I slept about 10 hours every night. It was a true vacation.
We got back on Sunday, and fell into bed early. The next day we woke up and our Internet was gone. So tonight is the first chance I’ve had to work on the blog in a long time! Well, we had internet on the island. But needless to say, I was not working ahead on the blog.
One of my first priorities when we got back was to pull all of the unripe tomatoes from the garden. The rains are back for real – it’s quite cold, actually – so they won’t last long outside anymore. Half of the square footage of my kitchen table is taken up by green tomatoes. So check back soon for some green tomato recipes!
I’m also excited to share another jam recipe – I picked up a bottle of rose water at my beloved Barbur World Foods on a whim one day, with no real purpose in mind except a vague idea of a cocktail. Then over Labor Day weekend, Dave and I found ourselves at a farm that still had hundreds of u-pick strawberries in Hood River! Unheard of in September. We picked several pounds – way more than we could eat fresh – so I made my fourth jam of the year: Strawberry Vanilla Rose.
I was eating this stuff straight out of the pot while it cooked. It’s so delicious! I can’t wait to have it on toast and taste the summer that was.
Here’s what you need:
2 pounds strawberries, hulled and chopped
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon rose water
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Combine all ingredients in a large pan or Dutch oven. Use a potato masher to smash strawberries a bit. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and smashing more as the strawberries break down. There will be some foam that forms at the top of the pot. Skim it off with a spoon and discard.
Simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the jam passes the plate test. Remember to remove the vanilla bean! Process in sterilized jars in a water-bath canner (If you are in need of a resource for this, I like the Ball canning guides). This recipe is based on one from Completely Delicious.