I somehow missed the 3-year anniversary of my blog.
I’m still distracted.
Here’s the thing, I’m planning a wedding—my wedding! Yes, dear reader, Bryan is finally making an honest man out of me (eww, that joke kind of creeped me out). Remember when we went to Massachusetts back in July? Well, we got married on a beautiful summer day under an old tree in Salem. Just the two of us.
But we weren’t content with it being just the two of us. We think these things need to be celebrated and so we’ve been planning a wedding celebration to bring together many of our closest friends and family for a fun weekend.
Anyone who has ever planned a wedding, large or small, knows that they can take over your life. It is silly at times, but you really want to show everyone a good time. Also, I like planning things—especially when they involve food and dancing. So, I find myself distracted.
I don’t know why this hasn’t come up until now. I guess it doesn’t have much to do with cooking and I worry about over-sharing. But as I look forward to the next few weeks, which include not only a wedding celebration but also a honeymoon trip (London and Paris!), I realize that I’ll be disappearing for a bit. When you don’t get updates from me, know that it is because I am celebrating and traveling and feeling so incredibly fortunate for all of this good stuff. And when I get back, I’ll share some pictures, some notes from my travels, and I will be excited to tackle autumn cooking with all of you.
And happy anniversary to all of us! This site would be nothing without you, and I am so glad you choose to visit and share your own kitchen stories and ideas with me. I can’t wait for another year. Oh, and there is a recipe, even if it is a little out of season:
This recipe for apricot rose jam deserves more than the few lines I am about to devote to it, but better than nothing. I became a jam maker this summer. It started because I wanted to include a small jar of jam in the wedding invitations, but I caught some sort of preserving fever (it might have something to do with the copper jam pot I purchased). I’ve gotten quite good and will hopefully do a better job of writing about it next summer.
This is one of the best things I made all summer. Apricot Rose! Bookmark this recipe for when apricots return to us. Amazing, and a great way to celebrate 3 years of blogging.
Apricot-Rose Jam (from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders)
- 5 1/4 pounds pitted and quartered apricots, pits reserved
- 2 1/4 pounds white cane sugar
- 3 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 to 3 small splashes of rose water
In a glass or hard plastic storage container, combine the apricots with the sugar and lemon juice. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture, smoothing well to eliminate air bubbles. Cover the mixture tightly with a lid and let macerate in the refrigerator overnight.
Place a saucer and five metal spoons in a flat place in your freezer for testing the jam later.
Place several apricot pits on the floor between two, old clean cloths and, using a hammer, tap them through the top cloth until they crack. Carefully remove the almond-like kernel from each pit, discarding the shells, until you have enough to make 1 heaping tablespoon chopped. Place the chopped kernels into a fine-mesh stainless-steel tea infuser with a firm latch and set aside.
Remove the apricots from the refrigerator and transfer them to an 11 or 12 quart copper preserving pan or a wide non-reactive kettle. Place the tea infuser into the mixture, pressing down on it to submerge it.
Bring the apricot mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently with a large heatproof rubber spatula. Boil, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and, using a large stainless-steel spoon, skim the stiff foam from the top of the mixture and discard. Return the jam to a boil, then decrease the heat slightly. Continue to cook, monitoring the heat closely, until the jam thickens, about 30 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pan often with your spatula, and decrease the heat gradually as more and more moisture cooks out of the jam. For the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking, stir the jam slowly and steadily to keep it from scorching.
When the jam has thickened, test it for doneness. To test, carefully transfer a small representative half teaspoonful of jam to one of your frozen spoons. Replace the spoon in the freezer for 3 to 4 minutes. Tilt the spoon vertically to see how quickly the jam runs. If it runs very slowly and has thickened to a gloopy consistency, it is done. If it runs quickly or appears watery, cook it for a another few minutes before testing again.
Turn off the heat, but do not stir. Remove the tea ball of kernels. Using a stainless-steel soup spoon, skim all of the remaining foam and discard.Pour a small splash of rose water into the jam, stir well and carefully taste. Add more rose water judiciously, tasting carefully as you go, until the rose flavor is present, but not overpowering. Pour the jam into sterilized jars and process according to manufacturers instructions.