Simple Strawberry Jam

Day one of our Summer Produce Series is “filled to the brim” with fruits! Or within ¼ inch of the brim, actually. 😀

Last week we went to visit both of our families for a week; half with each family. While we were at the Gerszewski’s place, we picked pounds and pounds of strawberries and we also jammed some cherries from their early summer crop. Dave’s family has their own farm up in the mountains. They have an abundant variety and thanks to his dad and youngest brother, that variety is constantly growing! My in-loves are pros at processing and preserving their crops to enjoy all year. Their cherries were pitted, bagged and frozen. While frozen cherries are a pretty amazing treat all on their own, they also make a tasty jam for toast or cookies. 
This is our go to jam recipe for fruits that we pull from our yard or receive from the Gerszewski side up in the sierra foothills. All in all we ended up with almost 2 gallons of jam to enjoy even when the winter weather hits. Continue reading “Simple Strawberry Jam”

Summer Produce Series Coming Soon…

Produce season is upon us! It is one of those times during the year where farmers’ markets get fuller and if you are fortunate enough to have your own trees and vines in your yard or homestead…you probably have fruit coming out of every drawer and bin in your fridge!

Produce season is upon us. It is a relatively short season, even in some parts of California. Some farmers’ markets in the mountains are just now seeing the first fruits of all their hard work.

It is one of those times during the year where farmers’ markets fill up with vendors and if you are fortunate enough to have your own trees and vines in your yard or homestead…you probably have fruit coming out of every drawer and bin in your fridge! At one point last week, our entire dining room table was covered with strawberries and plums.
This leads to our first series on the blog; a week of daily recipes to help you preserve and cook your way through all that produce! Continue reading “Summer Produce Series Coming Soon…”

10 Essential Tools for the Kitchen

10 Essential Tools for the kitchen. These tools will help any home chef cook successfully.

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“es·sen·tial.  adj.  ‘Of the utmost importance: basic, indispensable or necessary” ~ Websters Dictionary

For me, I’d sum it up with, I just can’t live without it!

There are things in life that are essential: water, shelter (a.k.a. home) and food. Without these we would cease to survive; 3 days without water; 40 days without food; and not even an hour, in the dead of winter, in North Dakota at -40 without shelter. Thankfully, here on the central coast in California we don’t have to deal with the latter, but life (and the kitchen) are still full of essentials.IMG_9918-1

In my line of work, (I am a chef at a local artisan bakery) there are those essential tools that I need in order to do my job and do it well. I have had to use some very primitive means at certain points in my life. I was still able to get the job done and the meal on the table (and in some cases, in my belly) but it wasn’t easy or fun. While those times were an adventure, these tools will make cooking enjoyable and quick. The kitchen should be a fun and exciting environment! Continue reading “10 Essential Tools for the Kitchen”