Strawberry Orange Blossom Jam

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Jam blobs to make your carefully carved mini toast made from a bigger hot dog bun look verrrry cute, like anime cute.

I almost didn’t make jam this month, which is a little crazy.  Jam is my thing, and I’ve been doing something for every month of the Food In Jars monthly challenge so far. Maybe I was testing the limits of obligation, maybe it was just the business of summer and summer being busy.

At any rate, I couldn’t walk past these strawberries, lined up like juicy rubies in their clamshells, outside the metro, where the fruit is cheap but not usually this memorable.  Yesterday.  Yes, this jam is just 1 day old.  I’m screeching into the finish line with this one, and in the midst of packing to go celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary in Ottawa this weekend no less.  Oh look!  It’s red and white!  Like I PLANNED it or something (I did not, but maybe the strawberries did O_O).  Much better than a poutine donut (those fries are all wrong), this quasi-intentional celebration of Canada’s being a thing is made with the flesh and souls of hundreds of perfect tiny redolent blushing local Quebec strawberries, with a little splash of orange blossom water to make it something special. Continue reading

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Apple Rose Pie

IMG_0411On the heels of Father’s Day, comes a feminine pie I made for Mother’s Day way back in May (although wtf is that, attributing genders to food?  I think my husband-guy liked this pie the most out of all of us).  I pulled it from the spring section of the Four & Twenty Blackbirds cookbook, because though apples aren’t technically the most in season of spring fruits, the roses bring the warm weather perfume of flowers busting their pretty fug all over the greening world.  And of course it’s summer now.  It’s still awesome.  And kinda different?  I’d never made a rosewater pie before (oh snap, not technically true!) and weird is the call of inspiration sometimes, especially when I’m not on the clock. Continue reading

Minimalist Chocolate Mousse

There’s a wicked good friperie / thrift store near-ish to my house, with four floors of treasures, much turnover, fancy fresh curios, big city-level castoff fashion, (bakeware!), AND lots of books, which is important.  I’ve slowed down a bit recently, but I spent a lot of the last year snorkelling for excellent children’s literature one dog-eared retro Seuss-ible at a time.  And every trip there, on the way out, I would cast an eye toward the adult books and every single time I would find something interesting in seconds with magnet-sense.  Like buying a little impulse candy bar, except something for my grownup brain to nosh on in the endless hours of nursing small baby life. Continue reading

Pickled Pink Turnips (Torshi Left)

IMG_7660-2_Fotor32Another Food in Jars Mastery Challenge experimentation!   Continue reading

Strawberry Balsamic Millefeuille

IMG_9904 2-2.jpgI have a thing I guess for reading pastry books in a slow, analytic way, savouring the possibilities, rolling imagery around behind my eyeballs, and organizing imaginary sensations.  All too often, multi-dimensional pieces attach themselves neatly to other idea-pieces and I set the joinings aside in the Great Pile of soon-to-be-realized dessert-things-that-are.  More often than not, when I bring them to breathing life, everything goes as planned.  Sometimes there are facets that melt out of place, however, which is fine; it’s all a part of the logistics of pastry and I like learning experiences.  In this case, my carefully layered spring strawberries and tart balsamic syrup with fresh lightened pastry cream and crispy buttery pastry layers all decided they would like mostly rather become a big shmeary delicious mess.  Because I added too much cream, basically.  But cream is delicious and I regret nothing.  Notheeeeeeeng.  Mmmmmmmm creamy.  I know for next time. Continue reading