August 9, 2012

Sunshine in a Jar (or Two!)

Sigh. This happens every year! I am done with summer before summer is done with me. I'm ready for fall! I'm ready for sweaters, and crisp breezes, and crunchy leaves, and baking my kiester off!! I feel a little bit guilty for whining, I know some friends haven't had the most satisfying summer. Well, I'll do my best to enjoy the rest of this one for you!

Enjoying summer is so much easier with kids. And we are so lucky that we live in a place surrounded by places to adventure. Last Saturday we went up the Provo river to fish/swim/wear out the beast. She needed wearing out, she ate my favorite new shirt!!! That never happens! Anyway. We found a beautiful little spot, you'd never know it was practically within spitting distance of a highway! You can see the rest of our pictures at our family blog if you'd like, but I had to show you what we discovered! Because it's FOOD! :)
A wild currant bush!! I thought they were chokecherries at first, but I checked with my mom before tasting. She told me they were currants and said "Eat them! NOW!"
 The boys were so excited! Little Stephen shouted, "This is the first thing I have ever eaten off a bush! This is STUPENDOUS!!" I wanted to pick a bagful and bring them home, but apparently they don't keep well. So we enjoyed them off the bush.
I suppose there are two things I will miss about summer. Not the adventuring, because I plan to keep that up through the fall. Summery things. Lemons and raspberries! Lemons because, well, they're lemons. Raspberries, because they soak up sunshine and it makes them taste rich and warm, only in the summer. I think it's about time to take advantage of these and make myself some Sunshine in a Jar! Also known as: Lemon Curd. Many of us Americans may not know what that is. Well, basically imagine a thick, smooth, tart, buttery lemon jam. That's lemon curd! My husband looked at it suspiciously and asked, "What do you DO with it??" Well, you can do anything you would normally do with jam, or use it in place of frosting between layers of cake or cookies, or bake with it! You have to love lemon to appreciate this stuff, and we all know I do! I was so excited to try making it at home after I saw the recipe on the English Kitchen, I even got the cutest little jar from DI months ago, and now it's time to use it!
Now, I realize lemon curd isn't everyone's cup of tea, (although it would be yummy with one!) so I also made my very first batch of raspberry jam. More sunshine fruit! I am not ambitious enough yet to have a full canning set-up, so I made freezer jam. It wasn't quite perfect, but you can follow this recipe if you don't mind it being a little bit runny and a tad too sweet. (For me, that is. You might love it!) My boys loved it though, even Joe! There will be a Raspberry Jam part II soon, I promise! Gotta figure this stuff out for you :)

Lemon Curd (from The English Kitchen)
Makes about 3 cups

Printable Recipe

1 TBS finely grated lemon zest plus 2 tsp of the same
8 fluid ounces (1 cup) fresh lemon juice
265g caster (ultrafine) sugar (approx 1 1/3 cups)
4 large free range eggs
6 ounces unsalted butter (3/4 cup)
plus 2 TBS, all cut into TBS sized pieces

Whisk the zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs and a pinch of salt together in a heavy 2 litre saucepan. Add the butter all at once and then cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly until the curd is thick enough to hold the marks of the whisk and the first bubbles appear and break the surface. This should take about 10 minutes. (took me 15, my stove is wonky)Immediately pour through a fine sieve into a bowl. Cover and chill before use. This should keep, covered and in the fridge for about 1 week.

I love this little jar!! And I love what's in it, too :) Tis delicious, smooth, buttery lemon-ness. I highly suggest making yourself some! It's easy as pie. Ooo! You could use it in PIE!!
I had a bit extra so it went in the boring jar. If you live nearby, come get some!! Sorry, my camera is joining the stove in the "wonky" department. 
Just spread on a toasted bagel. Simple yumminess. Hmm, I bet it would go great with some cream cheese on there too! How is it possible I don't have any?! I guess I'll live. :)

1 comment :

  1. The Lemon Curd sounds yummy. How about some English Scones to spread it on. Add some Herbal Tea, a few small sandwiches and host an English Tea Party.


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