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Posts from the ‘Jam and condiments’ Category


Photo by James Ransom

Photo by James Ransom

Every year I make the same meal for Thanksgiving, there is little to no variations year to year because everyone loves it that way. It makes things easier sort of, the only planning involves the shopping and of course the preparation. I try to make as much in advance as possible to save myself work on the big day. This will be Percy’s first Thanksgiving with me and I plan on giving him a plate of food along with the rest of my guests. I am excited that this year my two cousins will be joining me as well. My menu is very basic, nothing fancy but everything is homemade and has withstood the test of time. The dishes on the menu are linked to former posts so that you can see the recipes. Mashed potatoes, well, no recipe required, so my potatoes have not lumps I use the food mill and then simply add sour cream, butter and salt and pepper, thats all, the same goes for the pumpkin pie, I used canned pumpkin and follow the instructions on the back of the can, I’ve tried other methods and quite honestly the results are so similar it’s not worth the extra effort. The meal is always served with wine, this year a Cabernet Sauvignon, Lambrusco, Sparkling blanc de blanc and I am still undecided on whether to serve a Chardonnay or white bordeaux.

Thanksgiving Menu

butter and herb roast turkey


mashed potatoes

oven roasted brussells sprouts


cranberry sauce

dinner rolls



Pecan Pie

Apple Pie

Pumpkin Pie

My Very First Post- A Mixed Citrus Curd


This week I am taking you all on a little trip down memory lane, I am re visiting a few of my first posts. I actually posted twice on that first day. The first a mere paragraph saying I had no idea what I was doing and would try to get this blog up and running. It is embarrassing a little to read it but also saddens me because my pugs were alive when I started this blog. When I figured it out I posted this recipe which I had already posted on Food52 for mixed citrus curd.   I have not made this recipe since I first posted it in January 2012 and I am using tangerines, cara cara oranges and lemon. This would be good with any citrus you like, the flavor of the mixture of different types is delicious.

I was so nervous starting this blog, what if no one likes me or my recipes or ever even stops by was probably my biggest fear. I posted for the first time on Jan, 14 but the truth is I had the posts sitting in draft for about a week before I got up the courage to hit the publish button.

This is a very nice curd but I prefer the recipe from Tartine, the method is different you process or blend in the cold butter and get a thick, buttery, creamy curd that you can use immediately. Even sitting overnight this curd is not thick enough in my opinion to use as a filling for cake or a tart. When using this curd I would whip some cream cheese into it to stiffen it a bit and add some additional zest from an orange.

Mixed Citrus Curd

Mixed Citrus Curd photo from 2012

Mixed Citrus Curd

Makes 3 cups of curd

1 heaping tbs mixed zest from the fruits

1/2 cup  mixed citrus juice (juice from each fruit mixed to yield the needed amount) I used the juice of 1 lemon, 2 small tangerine and 1 cara cara orange.

6  large or extra large egg yolks

4 oz cold unsalted butter cut into pieces (1 stick)

1 1/2 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1-2 tsp orange zest (added after its cooked)


Zest the fruit and set aside a heaping tbs of mixed zest, juice the fruit mix together and set aside 1/2 cup. In mixing bowl add the egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt. Beat with hand held mixer until creamy and light. Whisk in the juice and zest and pour into sauce pan. Cook at medium low heat stirring constantly until the sugar has melted and it’s hot to the touch. Now add the butter one piece at a time stirring constantly until the butter is melted. Place thermometer in and continue cooking until it reaches a temperature of 175 degrees. Remove from heat.

Pour through a sieve into a bowl or large measuring cup, add the orange zest stir to combine and cover with plastic that sits directly on top of the curd, allow to come to room temperature then refrigerate overnight.




Chai Spiced Pear Butter


Yesterday when I posted about Sonal’s wonderful gift of spices I included her recipe for Chai Tea, which I am totally addicted to by the way. It’s delicious. I bought an abundance of pears and some were really ripe, I had so many I couldn’t eat them fast enough so I decided to oven roast and refrigerate until I figured out what to do with them. I thought the pears would be awesome with the chai spice and making pear butter (just like apple butter) would be wonderful. It’s so unbelievably simple to make and incredibly delicious you will be amazed. The pear butter is wonderful on toast or bread, on hot cereal  or eat it straight from the jar.

Chai Spiced Pear Butter

Makes approximately 2 eight ounce jars

6 pears – I used bartlett very ripe peeled, cut in half and cored

1/3 cup packed +2 tbs brown sugar

1/3 cup Poire William (pear liquor) or pear nectar or water.

2 vanilla beans (sliced open)

Pre heat oven to 375 degree’s. place the pear halves cored size down in a 9×13 rectangular baking dish (ceramic or glass is best non reactive), pour the liquid in the baking dish, sprinkle the pears with the brown sugar, place the vanilla beans in the liquid and place in the oven.  Note: I buttered my baking dish but it’s not necessary.

Bake the pears for about 45 minutes, turning the pears over half way through baking, the liquid should have reduced to almost nothing, only just barely covering the bottom of the baking dish, the pears will have started to caramelize and will be very soft. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. You want the pears very warm.

Making the pear butter

Place warm pears with the small amount of residual juice in a blender, add 1/2 tsp chai spice and a a tiny pinch of salt and blend until smooth. Pour into clean canning jars and store in the refrigerator.