If you blog, you know this to be a fact: sometimes you connect with a fellow blogger and it is like you have known him/her all your life.
Such is the case with Kelli of Kelli’s Kitchen. I have watched her blog progress from a WordPress site to the professional one she has today. Kelli is always full of advice and has offered me guidance regarding creating a professional looking site like hers (maybe someday) and how to create more traffic (like with Fave Southern Recipes and her own Yum Goggle).
Even though Kelli is only about 150 miles away, we have never met. We are fellow Okies and I do wish that Kelli were my next door neighbor. (And, I swear that when I am in Norman for a conference, I am going to plan a lunch. I am always there in the accompaniment of many co-workers though and it is hard to break away. )
Why am I waxing poetic about Kelli and all her domestic art talents? Kelli’s Kitchen was my assigned C.L.U.E. assignment for May.
Not only was I super excited to get my friend Kelli’s site, but I knew that I could find lots of delicious berry recipes there. The theme for C.L.U.E. this month included finding the best berry recipe ever. I think I found more than enough at Kelli’s Kitchen. Kelli learned to can from her grandmother and she has even written two canning ebooks (Nano-Canning: Basic Recipes and Instructions and Nano-Canning: Specialty Jams, Jellies, and Marmalades). A lot of Kelli’s recipes are heirloom recipes she learned from her Nana or other culinary diva relatives.
I always look forward to the spring’s bounty and canning. I especially like creative jams that have unexpected ingredients. I initially wanted to make Kelli’s Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Black Pepper Jam but Kelli stated in the recipe that the jam has to set for one month for the flavors to meld and mellow. I wanted something I could enjoy now. There was always her basic recipe for Strawberry Jam, but I couldn’t resist her Strawberry-Lemon Marmalade. Kelli states this concoction tastes “a bit like sweet tart candy.” I liked this recipe because I could start test-tasting as soon as it was cool.
from Kelli’s Kitchen
4 medium Meyer lemons
3 c. mashed strawberries
5 1/2 c. sugar
1 box pectin (omit if using the no pectin method)*
Zest 2 of lemons being careful not to let any pith (white stuff) get in. Add to cooking pot.
Peel all 4 lemons then cut and peel membrane off segments putting pulp into cooking pot. (Do this over the cooking pot so you can catch all the juice.) Remove any seeds.
Add 3 cups of the mashed strawberries. Add 1 box pectin and 1 pat butter or margarine (if using no pectin method omit).*
While stirring continually, bring to a hard boil and keep there for 30 seconds. Add sugar. Continue stirring, getting out lumps, and bring to a hard boil again, allowing to boil for 1 full minute. If it begins to splatter, put an oven mitt on, but continue to stir. Don’t skimp on the minute.
Remove from heat and ladle into approximately ten (10) sterilized half pint jars. Place on sterilized flats and screw tops on finger tight. Lift into boiling water bath and process 10 minutes. Remove to a draft-free area to cool for 24 hours.
*If using the no pectin method, using a candy thermometer, stir and cook marmalade until it reaches a temp of 220 degree Fahrenheit or 104 degrees Celsius and allow to stay at that temp for 1 full minute.
What a great recipe! This has just the right amount of tartness. We have enjoyed it on biscuits, crackers, and on top of ice cream. I would definitely put this one in the running for my favorite jam with Peach Marmalade and Apple Marmalade being close contenders.
Last weekend we were lucky enough to score 16 quarts of Stillwell strawberries.
I spent last Saturday afternoon making three batches of strawberry jam. I made one batch of Kelli’s recipe above, one Vanilla Strawberry Jam batch (just add a split vanilla bean to a basic strawberry jam recipe), and one Balsamic Strawberry Jam (just add a good balsamic vinegar to replace the lemon juice in your favorite basic recipe). With sixteen quarts, I also have three bags of smashed berries in the freezer ready to go for other jam varieties and bags of frozen whole strawberries. (Some sangria was also made, don’t you know…)
I plan to make that Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Black Pepper with some of the leftovers, Kelli.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with C.L.U.E. (or the Cook, Learn, Undertake, Eat Society), we are a group of like-minded bloggers who enjoy cooking, baking, sharing, and networking. For all my C.L.U.E. posts, click here.
And, Kelli, I may be solo at a convention next October in Norman. Let’s plan something!
May Blogger CLUE participants
- Lisa from Authentic Suburban Gourmet
- Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
- Alice from A Mama, Baby and Shar-pei in the Kitchen
- Azmina from Lawyer Loves Lunch
- Kelli from Kelli’s Kitchen
- Kim from Liv Life
- Stacy from Food Lust People Love
- Lea Ann from Cooking on the Ranch
- Kathleen from Bakeaway with Me
- Anna from Anna Dishes
- Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Jean from Lemons and Anchovies
- Heather from girlichef
- Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Christiane from Taking on Magazines
- Debra from Eliot’s Eats
- Lora from Cake Duchess
- Kathy from A Spoonful of Thyme
- Rebekah from Making Miracles
- Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook