I know that nectarine season is just about ending, but I had to get one more jam in before moving onto the apples and pears. Before I talk about this jam though, I have recap my culinary adventures over the past few days – nothing too outlandious, but definitely some highs and lows. Just another fun week.
Last Thursday evening, I was invited to a work event by an external collegue. I almost never go to these types of events, but this one really caught my attention. It was an evening with Tom Douglas. He was going to do a couple of demos, and serve food from his array of restaurants in the Seattle area. I had to really think about this though – I couldn’t take my husband, so I would have to do this alone. I am an introvert – I get anxiety thinking about entering a room of people I don’t know, or people I don’t know well. My husband is the same way – so we are a perfect match. Most of the time, we stick to ourselves, have a great time, and leave. If we end up meeting a couple of people along the way, it is not because we approached them. So – I got to the event, and actually had to sit in my car for about 30 minutes before mustering up the courage to enter. I kept reminding myself why I was doing this – I love food. It would be worth it. Boy was I right, it was spectacular. He is quite an amazing person – he was so approachable, and it was a pretty small crowd. I ended up finding a few people who I knew, which also helped.
Fast forward to Saturday night. My husband and I love our date nights – we love going out for dinner, being able to talk to each other (with two girls, we don’t have a lot of opportunities) and to try new restaurants. The last new restaurant we tried was a HUGE winner – in fact, we went back a couple of weeks later, it was that good. So last night we rolled the dice again, and went to another new place. It wasn’t entirely new, but they moved to a new space. We were only at the old space once, but we both had a good meal there, so we were excited to try it again. When our cocktails came, we were a little disappointed – but then again, we have high expectations in that area. Most of our friends know wine, we know alcohol – good alcohol, and this was not up to par. Moving onto the salad, I knew we were in trouble when I couldn’t find the roasted beets in the beet salad. The main course was a complete disaster – we shared one (since the waiter told us it was a huge portion), and it was almost inedible. We were both trying to stay positive though, but we finally couldn’t do it anymore. By the time they brought us the desert menus, we were done with that place, never to return again. We paid the check and ran out as fast as we could. What a dissappointment. I guess you win some and you loose some – we had a wonderful smoked chicken for dinner tonight – which wiped out all the bad memories of last night. For those of you who live in Seattle and want to know the name of this place, feel free to leave a comment – and I will email you back. Maybe it was just last night – but we won’t be trying it again to figure that out.
So back to this jam. I wanted to try a completely different recipe in Food in Jars (like my love of trying new restaurants), but this one came through – even though I love stone fruit with vanilla and cinnamon, the lime in this recipe really gave the nectarines a punch. This is not the type of jam I would serve for breakfast, this is more of an appetizer jam with cheese. I let my younger daughter eat the samples from this picture, and she was on top of the moon. She especially loved licking every bit of jam off the spoon. The best part about this jam? You don’t need to peel the fruit – what a time saver. So – if you are looking to try something new – give this one a try. It won’t cost you as much money as we spent on our dinner last night – and if you don’t like it, give it to a friend, I know someone will love this jam. I promise.
- 5 cups pitted and chopped nectarines (about 3 pounds)
- 3 cups of sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 limes, zested and juiced
- 1 packet (3-oz) liquid pectin
Fill your canning pot with water and begin to bring it to temperature. Wash your jars and rings in warm soapy water and set aside. Put your lids in a small pot of water and heat (but do not boil) in order to soften the sealing compound.
Combine the nectarines and sugar in a large pot. Bring to a boil and let the jam boil for about 15 to 20 minutes over high heat, until the fruit softens and can be mashed with the back of a wooden spoon.
If you prefer a smoother jam, use a potato masher or immersion blender (taking care not to burn yourself with hot jam) to break down the chunks. If you prefer a chunkier jam, just leave as is. Add the lime zest and juice and stir well. Add the pectin and bring to a rolling boil for a full five minutes, until it looks molten and syrupy.
Turn off the heat under the jam and fill jars. Wipe rims and apply lids. Screw on the bands and lower into the water. Process in the hot water bath 10 minutes. When time is up, remove from water and cool on the counter. When the jars are cooled, check the seal by pressing on the top of the jar. If there’s no movement, the jar has sealed. Store up to one year in a cool, dark place.
Makes 3 pints (yield varies depending on width of pot, cooking length and juiciness of fruit).
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