Tuesday, August 13, 2013

in a jam

sometimes i'm a crappy friend. i never call or write to ask how you are and i often go months happily without talking to anyone outside of people i happen to see when i go out. i do not habitually remember birthdays or anniversaries and actively avoid party invitations, even though i enjoy most of the parties i go to.

but yesterday i woke up and after a while i decided that the perfect thing to do in preparation for saturday's race would be to get in my boat and paddle a section of the winooski river that i suspect is part of the course.

it's a lot easier to go do that if you have someone to go with so you can leave a chase vehicle at the takeout. and really the perfect person for me to bring along on this project is my friend barb who will be my teammate saturday, only she's at work by the time she reads the email i sent her at about  0615.

she thinks it would be an awesome idea, but of course her boat is at home and it will take her an hour and a half at least to go there and get her boat, so i just asked why don't *i* just go over to your house and load your boat on my car and she was doubtful i could do it myself but i'm a brute so i went there and got her boat and then i scouted the possible put ins and take outs and looked real hard at those rapids and then i came home and because barb will be coming straight from work without benefit of having eaten, i made sammidges.

i make good sammidges. today's secret ingredient is currant jelly.

the sammidge is turkey and swiss with mustard and currant jelly in a spinach wrap with carrots and wilted kale. it is kale from my egg lady, and currant jelly i made last week with currants from egg lady's garden.

and then because i was feeling ambitious, i made blueberry jam. i make small batch freezer jams, which is all of the goodness and none of the hassle of canning, plus a whole batch is only two to five of those teeny little jars, so you never have too much jam and you can keep a wide assortment of flavors.

i make mine a little on the sticky side, because i like to work old-style with only the naturally-occurring pectin, and if i need extra pectin i boil up some apple peels i have saved just for the purpose.

yes, really. i have a bag of apple peels in my freezer, and i can do that because i am using feral apples that never see a fertilizer or pesticide, so the skins are pretty decent, barring whatever crap just falls from the sky, but you get that everywhere.

anyway, you have to cook jams down to a little higher temperature if you want it to gel if you're trying to go for either naturally occurring pectin or reduced sugar, so your choices are usually either slightly runnier or slightly stickier, because that's how pectin and sugar work.

but it's jam, not a delicate panna cotta, so as long as i can spread it on toast or put it in thumbrint cookie, i'm happy. two ingredients: fruit and sugar.

i brought some for barb.

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