Tag Archives: lime

Strawberry Key Lime Jam…

Strawberry Key Lime Jam

I was spending my birthday weekend in the Clearwater area and it just so happened to coincide with the Strawberry Festival in Plant City.    I was ecstatic because I happen to know that A LOT of strawberries come out of that area and are shipped all over the east coast.

When I was still cheffing (yes, that’s now a verb) in NYC,  all of the strawberry flats were from Plant City so I knew there were good berries to be had.    Slathered in sunscreen for a day of walking around in the blistering sunshine, we got in the car and drove an hour to have our fill of strawberry everything…  or so we thought.

Perhaps it was my own fault, I envisioned strawberry pies, strawberry jams & jellies, strawberry malts, strawberry pastries, strawberries in every way imaginable and I was practically frothing at the mouth in anticipation.    I was looking forward to the creativity of locals, presenting strawberries in ways I had never thought of, I was so ready to have my mind and taste buds blown!  One would assume if it’s a “Strawberry Festival”, that’s exactly what you’d find, no?   The short answer:  no.  

There were 2 places to get strawberry shortcake, each with a line at least 100 deep and a handful of other booths were strawberry items could be purchased.   It was quite a let down, but there is a BIG silver lining!  

Local farms were set up in tents, like a farmer’s market, along the streets leading into the festival.  I scored an entire flat (that’s about 12 pounds) of the most gorgeous, bright ruby red strawberries you’ve ever laid your eyes on for…  wait for it….  seven dollars!    Seven.  Dollars.      I was over the moon!  I happily lugged that box all the way back to the car.   I also had a glazed doughnut roughly the size of a baby’s head fresh from the oil, so it wasn’t a total loss 😉

Would I go to that festival again?  Probably not.  Would I drive the hour to buy 12 pounds of perfect strawberries for $7.00?   You bet.

Strawberry Key Lime Jam
Yields 8
Basic Strawberry Jam recipe, slightly tweaked with a South Florida flair
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 quarts strawberries, washed, hulled and roughly chopped
  2. 1 1.75 oz pkg + 2 tbsp. powdered pectin
  3. 1/4 cup fresh key lime juice
  4. 3 tbsp. key lime zest
  5. 7 cups sugar
Instructions
  1. Place 9 half pint (8 oz) mason jars in a very large stock pot/lobster pot/canning pot. Add enough water to cover the jars and bring to simmer. Place the lids into a small saucepan and simmer those in a bit of water as well. No need to warm the rings, just the lids. Make sure you are using new lids every time. It's best not to reuse them.
  2. That being said, I have reused them when in a pinch, but it's not standard practice.
  3. Combine strawberries, pectin, lime juice and zest in a large stock pot. (You'll want plenty of room at the top when the mixture starts boiling)
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then add sugar all at once and stir until completely dissolved. Return to a rolling boil and let it boil HARD for 60 - 90 seconds, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat and skim off as much foam as you can without taking too much of the jam.
  6. Using canning tongs (or regular tongs with a dish towel wrapped around them) remove one of the jars from the water, pour the water out and set a wide mouth funnel inside the jar. Using a measuring cup, scoop jam and pour into warm jar leaving 1/4" of space at the top. Repeat until all the jars are filled, then wipe the rim of the jar with a damp towel, making sure the thread of the jar is clean.
  7. Remove the lids from the simmering water, screw on the rings but do not tighten all the way. Enough to secure the lid, but not completely tightened. Repeat with remaining jars.
  8. Place jars into a canning rack if you have one and lower into water in canning/lobster pot. If not, use tongs and lower the jars one by one (fairly quickly) into the water. Make sure water covers the jars by at least an inch, two if possible. Bring water to a full boil. Boil for 10 - 12 minutes, let jars "rest" in the water for a couple of minutes, then remove from water. I always place my hot jars on top of a dishtowel on the counter so nothing slides around.
  9. Leave jars for 24 hours, you will hopefully hear that beautiful "PING" sound fairly soon after they've come out of the water, but it may take a little while. After 24 hours, tighten the rings all the way and check to make sure they have all sealed. Press on the lid. If it has ANY give whatsoever, that guy gets to live in the fridge. Otherwise, your jam is good to go!
Notes
  1. I don't remember where I learned this trick, but a pat of butter help keep the foam to a minimum. If you are so inclined, drop a pat of butter into your strawberry mixture while it's cooking to keep the foam under control.
Adapted from Ball Blue Book
Adapted from Ball Blue Book
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/
My Love 054 My Love 057 My Love 060

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie.   These three little words make me sit on the edge of my seat in anticipation.  In my book, it is one of the most perfect desserts.  The fact that it is ridiculously easy gives it major bonus points. 
Growing up, I don’t think I’d even heard of key lime pie.  We had apple, peach, strawberry-rhubarb, blueberry, pecan, pumpkin, lemon meringue, chocolate cream, but never key lime. 

Continue reading

Chirmol

As many of you are fully aware, I have an exploding tomato population.  I went a bit “Little House on the Prairie” thinking I needed to sow all my seeds to get me through the long, hard winter on the farm apparently.  Well, now…  I am reaping what I have sown.   PUN. FULLY. INTENDED.

It’s mass chaos back there.  I think the tomatoes get together in some sort of secret society at night while I’m sleeping, plotting to overthrow me.  One day I may wake up to them all crouched down waiting to pounce (think: Lord of the Flies).  OK, clearly I’ve gone off on a tangent… Continue reading

I’ll have what she’s having…

I’m not really sure why,  but when I think of strawberry daiquiris, I think of the 80’s.   Things like parachute pants and rubber bracelets,  big hair and Duran Duran.  Considering I was barely a “tween” in the mid-80’s and not yet the cocktail connoisseur I am today, there really is no basis for this. 

But, here’s the thing… no one seems to tip back fruity drinks with little umbrellas anymore, everything is a “skinny” something or another now.  Not that there’s anything wrong with watching your caloric intake, but sometimes a girl needs a drink.  A proper drink- made in a blender, served in a pretty glass with a little garnish.

I’m sure most of us can’t even remember the last time we had one (unless of course that’s because you had MANY), which is a shame because it really is one of those great summer drinks.
Well, I intend on bringing this little libation that could back into the spotlight.

If you’ve never had a strawberry daiquiri made from actual strawberries, then you are in for a treat.  The drinks made from that bottle of  chemical-laden red stuff can not begin to compare with one made from fresh ingredients.  The sweet fragrance of ripe strawberries filling your kitchen is enough to start your mouth salivating.

There will be no sickly sweet, artificially flavored mixes that are a most unnatural and slightly unnerving shade of red.  Just berries, rum, some sugar & a splash of lime juice blended with some ice & you are well on your way to one of the best things you can put in a glass.

Continue reading

Chicken Soup for My Soul…

Last I checked April showers bring May flowers, right?  Well, someone missed the mark on that…  The weather here in New York has been unusual to say the least.  We had 80 degree days in March, freezing temps in April and it feels like it’s been raining for weeks… 

Chilly, gray days make me want a bowl of something good.  I had a quart container of “liquid gold” in the refrigerator that had been giving me the stink eye every time I opened the fridge…  It felt neglected, and rightfully so.  

A few weeks back, I had braised some chicken, strained the liquid and set it aside for another use.  That is liquid gold.  It is intensely flavored, uber-chicken-y goodness and while looking around the kitchen I realized I had almost everything I needed for tortilla soup (otherwise known as Mexican penicillin).

So, with a quick trip to get an avocado and a lime it was time to get cooking…

Continue reading

Doing My Part to Prevent Scurvy…

Every now and then I buy random things and hope I can make something good with the various items that have found their way into my cart.   Once in a while I’ll stumble upon something magnificent, on (thankfully rare) occasions it’s been a disaster, in which case the pizzeria is on speed dial and more often than not it’s pretty good, although I’m in no way getting sassy about it…
One of the ingredients that found their way home with me were finger limes.

 
 
They are rather interesting… inside the lime are little pearls that resemble caviar.   It’s a great garnish for fish, drinks, hors d’oeuvres or even desserts.
 
A beautiful piece of wild grouper had also found its way home with me in my ever-present quest for eating healthier, so this was my jumping off point.  A couple of years ago, on a trip to Punta Cana in the  Dominican Republic I had grouper grilled on the beach and that is where my love for this fish was born.