Friday, November 18, 2011

Merry...Thanksgiving?


Making dinner the other night I was flipping through the channels when I saw Wheel of Fortune hosting from...the North Pole. I had to check my wine for poison and then my calendar. It was a full week and a half before Thanksgiving let alone Christmas. What happened to decorating with pumpkins and fall leaves or even a ceramic turkey?

But Vanna and Pat weren't the only ones. It seemed the Christmas (PC term - Festivas?) fever had already spread beyond the point of me worrying about it. The grocery store was all decked in holly with Karen Carpenter blasting from the speakers, the ghost decorators had already begun bedazzling the Cedar trees on 360 in red and gold, and truth be told - I was glad for it. It just goes by too fast y'all. (Though I do feel bad for Thanksgiving - will it soon be renamed Christmas, Part 1?)

Anyways sorry to jump on the 'skipping ahead to Christmas' bandwagon but my Thanksgiving recipes are all going to be pretty standard this year aside from doing the turkey on the Big Green Egg which I'll share with you later so I thought I'd post The Homesick Texan's Strawberry Guajillo Jam. This jam would make a fantastic gift or stocking stuffer. And if you're leery of making homemade jam like I was - don't be. Easy as pie y'all. Just make sure you put hot jam in a hot, just sterilized jar (you can do it in the dishwasher) and that's all there is to it.

This jam is lovely - the only kind Kris will eat now - not spicy but with just enough kick to be interesting. Come to think of it - it'd be fantastic on a leftover turkey sandwich instead of the usual cranberry sauce!

Strawberry Guajillo Jam, from The Homesick Texan
Yields 2 pints.
* Very easy but allow for 4 hours of letting the strawberries to sit before making.

Ingredients:
2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 cups granulated sugar
1 dried guajillo chile, stem and seeds removed OR 1/4 teaspoon dried guajillo powder
1/2 cup lime juice
pinch kosher salt

Equipment:
2 pint-size jars or 4 half-pint size jars with lids and bands

Directions:
Toss the strawberries in a pot with the sugar and let stand for 4 hours until soft and juicy.

Place a plate in the freezer. Dice the dried guajillo and add it to the strawberry pot (or powder) along with the lime juice, salt and 1/4 cup of water. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, sterilize the jars and lids in either a pot of boiling water or dishwasher (just don't do this too early or the jars will become too cool - you want them still hot when you put the jam into them.)

After 30 minutes, take the plate out of the freezer and place a spoonful of the jam on the plate. After a minute, tilt the plate, and if the jam doesn't run then it's ready. If it does run, cook it for 5 more minutes and test again. Continue to test until it doesn't run.

Pour jam into hot jars, leaving a bit of headspace. Cover with lids and fasten with rings. Allow to cool and then refrigerate. I find that it can last for a few months in the refrigerator.

PS - I already might have already started decorating...

2 comments:

StephenC said...

You're a lot of fun. And who woulda thunk it, but I have dried guajillo chiles in my very cupboard. I think I'd like to just make a small quantity of this and not have to get too elaborate with the boiling part. (Don't have jars.)

Jenn said...

This sounds delightfully delicious! And on warm biscuits... YUM!!!

I'm with you on the Christmas thing.. it's starting earlier and earlier each year. They had Christmas decorations out as soon as the Halloween stuff went up this year... that's just crazy!!!