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LOCATION: Recipes >> Preserving >> Some friends gave me 4 quarts of strawberries last week, after I'd

Print this Recipe    Some friends gave me 4 quarts of strawberries last week, after I'd

already gotten two and, by now, I'm happy season is about over. I've
had shortcake and pie, dehydrated 'em, made jam, strawberry-rhubarb
jam, and strawberry mustard. Before I give the recipe for that, let me
tell you 'bout the strawberry-rhubarb jam. It was for the friends who
gave me the berries, because of their frustration over not being able
to find any that's good 'round here. I took that challenge, knowing I
am only an adequate jam guy, figuring that my cooking skills and good
produce could outdo most commercial stuff. Because of a couple of
coincidences (maybe accidents), I succeeded beyond my expectations and
made something that _I_ actually like!

Accident #1: After playing around with various techniques for getting
orange zest off an orange, where it usually comes from - though not
easily, I bought a zester, one of those things with 5 sharp holes. I
was playing around with it on the lemons that I got for lemon juice
for the jam and, when I was done, decided to use it. This added a nice
contrasting tartness to the expected pucker power of the rhubarb.

Accident #2: There was only one store in town that had rhubarb, a
place called Weaver Street (where I buy all my bulk spices), and I
went there Sunday morning after I'd committed myself to making the
jam. Rather than make another stop, I decided to pick up the sugar
there too. This being one of those futzy stores, they didn't have any
ordinary white refined cane sugar. All I could find was turbinado
sugar, that brownish unrefined stuff, in the bulk bins. I think the
hint of molasses left on that added a subtle undertone to the jam.
Other than the accidents, I used the recipe straight out of the Blue
Book.


I've been wanting to make the strawberry mustard ever since I got
Janet Hazen's book on mustard a couple of years ago. The whole idea of
it was so strange that it appealed to me. I just bottled up a triple
batch of this today, substituting red wine vinegar for the raspberry
vinegar, which I could not find (gues I'll have to learn to make my
own). After an initial burst of mustard flavor, this stuff lights up
on your tongue...

STRAWBERRY MUSTARD

1/2 cup whole yellow mustard seeds, finely-ground
1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable or light olive oil
5 ripe strawberries, stemmed and halved
1/2 teaspoon finely ground pink peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in a blender. Puree until fairly smooth and
thoroughly mixed, frequently scraping sides of the container. Transfer
to a clean, dry jar or bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 1 week
before using. Makes about 3/4 cup.

She advises using it fairly quickly because of the perishable nature
of the fresh strawberries.

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