It is that time of the year when the chives are blossoming profusely. They are beautiful!
We harvest the blossoms to infuse white vinegar. The vinegar takes on the subtle chive flavor and its beautiful blossom color.
Harvest the blossoms when they are just open, before they set seeds. Put the blossoms in a glass jar and pour white vinegar over it. Keep the jar in a cool dark place for two weeks. After two weeks, strain the vinegar through a fine sieve or using cheesecloth. Store the strained vinegar in a glass bottle to add to your dishes.
We have a few productive sugar plum trees this Spring. They are amazingly tasty fresh but we couldn’t eat them fast enough, so we store a fair amount of them in our freezer. Now that things are slowing down in the garden, we have more time to process what we have harvested.
We did a lot of research to find the perfect recipe for the plum since they deserve as much. Most jelly and jam recipes use too much sugar. We wanted a recipe that let the fruits shine through. We ended up combining several recipes we have found and adjusted them to our taste. It came out exactly as we had hoped, sweet, tangy, plummy, warm with holiday spices, and finish with a hint of orange. Here is the recipe we used which makes about 15 half-pint jars.
3 lbs of plums, pitted
4 medium apples, chopped
1 fresh pineapple, chopped
2 oranges, juiced and zest
1 lemon, juiced and zest
1 lime, juiced and zest
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground clove
low or no sugar pectin
sliver of butter
4 cup of sugar
Combine plums, apples, pineapple, all the juices in a pot and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes while stirring frequently.
Add all the spices, butter, and pectin (*) and turn the heat to high to achieve a rolling boil while stirring constantly. The butter will keep the mixture from foaming.
Pour in the sugar and cook for another minute while stirring.
Ladle the hot jam into the hot, sterilized canning jars and seal with lids and rings.
Refrigerate when cool or proceed with canning (**).
(*) Follow the instruction that comes with the pectin you use for the appropriate amount to add. The key to this recipe is to use pectin that does not require sugar to gel. We used Ball Real Fruit Pectin for this batch. We plan on trying Ponoma’s Universal Pectin next.
(**) This recipe has not been tested in a lab for its safety. We tested the acidity ourselves and found it to be at 3.15 pH which deems safe for canning; however, you should always check it for yourself since real fruits will vary based on many factors. We also use a pressure canner for canning.