Friday, May 30, 2014

Curiosity and Willingness to Improve ?

Ume Plum Juice, Day 8

See? I couldn't resist the temptation again. Last year, my attempt of making juice with unripe, green plums was not successful. What a waste! So I was determined not to give it a try again. Well, at least, at that time.

But more than a week ago, when I saw green plums on the shelf at the farmers' market and supermarket, I gave in right on the spot. And yes. I'm using rock sugar again. Didn't I decide not to do this in 2012? You're right. I did. But the truth is... when used granulated sugar, the juice didn't taste as good as the time I used rock sugar.

So this year, I decided to give it a try again, with an improved approach. This time, I'll shake the jar gently once in a while to help dissolve the sugar. And as soon as the sugar at the bottom of the jar disappears, I'm going to take out the plums and put the jars in the fridge.
Let's see how that works. ;)
Looks like it is this curiosity and willingness to improve that are driving me to waste buy 1kg unripe ume plums and 1kg sugar every year. ;P

Oh, if you're interested in the ume juice recipe, click here.  (I don't use 1kg sugar any more, though. It makes the juice too sweet for me. You might want to adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste buds.) ;)

Umeshu (Ume-Plum Infused Distilled Liquor), Day 3

And I also gave in to the temptation of the green plums on the tree in our garden.
They're now in the jar with distilled liquor and again, rock sugar.

There is another thing I would like to give it a try after the umeshu is ready. A friend of mine told me that the ume plums taken out from the liquor would taste great when batter-fried. Is that so?! Mmmmmm.... I've got to find out.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My Heartfelt Thank You to Someone Who Invented Jam

Does anyone remember a movie, "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?"   

I always order a pack of tomatoes through Co-op, which usually contains about 3 to 4 of them in a plastic pack. And last week, one of my relatives gave us a bagful of home-grown tomatoes -- 5 or 6 of them in a plastic bag.

So I asked mom NOT to buy tomatoes any more. I asked her TWICE.

And a few days ago, when a fruit vendor truck came, OF COURSE mom bought a bagful, which contained 6 ripe -- very ripe tomatoes!

Help! Tomatoes! And More Tomatoes are Coming...

Now, we still have tomato sauce in our freezer from two years ago. There is absolutely no room for another large ziploc bag filled with tomato sauce. So ... you know what's left to do.
Yes. Another jam-making therapy session this afternoon.
When making tomato jam, I always add a secret ingredient.
Well, maybe this is not a "secret" ingredient any more... I guess these days many people know this idea of adding a little pepper to jam to give it a little kick. Right?
I always use black pepper -- whole black pepper seeds. There's plenty left in the bag, by the way, because tomato jam and cherry tomato pickles are the only things that I use the pepper for.

Anyway, as in the title of this post, I really would like to thank the person who invented jam in the first place. Last month I fought against the invasive plant, Itadori (Japanese Knotweed) by making its young shoots into jam. And this time, these tomatoes.

HaHaHa... So, listen to me, fruits or vegetables or certain edible wild plants of the season! I'm not afraid of you any more! Come to my -- actually mom's -- kitchen anytime, and I'll make you into jam! No more waste! No more pulling my hair out saying, "AHHHHH What can I do with all these. They'll go bad soon!" HaHahaha....


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