Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Of jellies and things


I had every intention of entering this most recent IMBB: Jellied. I even had jellies made. But, my schedule was off, and I missed the deadline.

No big; I can still share with you!

I've been quite mad about fruity spreads lately, as if to prove my retro-housewife status, or something.

First up: Lemon Marmalade with Crumpets

The marmalade recipe came from one of the 1968 issues of Gourmet.

Absolutely gorgeous. I loved the almost-translucent bits of lemon, suspended throughout the jar.

The crumpets I'd promised to make earlier ( Niki), but they had to wait until I got my hands on the proper-sized rings.

The crumpets were fantastic! And the marmalade was the just the thing to go with them.

I've been wanting to make crumpets for a couple of years. While living in Oakland, Matt and I became friends with a girl from England. She'd made the move to the Bay area for work.
She would become homesick for a variety of English staples, the chief among them crumpets.

I offered to make them for her. The friend scoffed, saying they were much too difficult to make at home; it just couldn't be done.

Oh, really? I thought...I intended to show her, but events led to us not really being close any more.

But still...I knew I could make crumpets. How dare she say there was a baked good out there I couldn't handle!

So, SJ; kiss my as...partame.

Next, Rhubarb-Strawberry Jelly on Baking Soda Biscuits.

I intended to make rhubarb jelly, but found myself a bit short of juice. I looked around for anything in the kitchen I could add to the jelly, and figured it would be a good way to use up those strawberries in the refrigerator.

Such a sweet jelly! The strawberry comes through the strongest, but there's definitely that hint of...something else in there. As I've never tasted rhubarb prior to this, I'm not exactly sure what it is I'm tasting. But it is a nice jelly.

The biscuits were very easy to make; the recipe came from a a Taste of Home cookbook...their first ten years (best of).
The crumbly biscuits and sweet jelly went together perfectly.

And last, but certainly not least; Pistachio Butter and Port Wine Jelly Sandwich, on Brioche.

(I really do believe in saving the best for last.)

The pistachio butter, courtesy of my FIL. The port wine jelly was my original, intended, entry for IMBB?.

Another recipe from the 1968 volume of Gourmet.

Wow...it's sweet, but intense. Kind of like jelly for grown-ups. When the jar is opened, there's this strong scent of wine, but the jelly itself is a really, really strong grape.

And the brioche? Recipe from the Complete Book of Bread. Took an entire day to make, but it was certainly worth the effort! And my very first time making the famous French bread.

And that's all, folks. Let me know if you are interested in any of the recipes.

15 Thoughts for food:

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Cathy said...

Wow Stephanie, you've been busy! You're marmalade, jellies, and baked goods all sound (and look) fantastic! I always think of jams and jellies as such a big production - preparing pounds and pounds of fruit, steaming up the kitchen with the big old canner, etc. - but lately I've been noticing and intrigued by the idea of making a single jar of something and not canning it. Were these small batches or were you in full canning mode?

At 12:42 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

I grew up watching my Grammy slave over a hot stove, usually twice a year, as she made jellies, tomato sauces, pickles and beets. It really can be a big production.
But I did, in fact, go with small batches. Mainly because we don't use jelly that often in our household, and don't really have a good place to store a dozen jars of canned fruit.

With careful calculations, I ended up with a jar and a half of the rhubarb-strawberry and three each of the marmalade and Port Wine. And I unloaded one of the last two on the in-laws.

It does take a certain amount of work, but jelly-making is not out of reach!

At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Julia said...

Ahh, the spreads look gorgeous! I'd love to try them all. The breads and biscuits look delish too, perfect with a lovely cup of Earl Grey. :)

At 4:25 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Julia!

We went with an English Breakfast tea, to be truthful.

At 10:56 PM, Blogger dexygus said...

stephanie, you're amazing. everything looks and sounds incredible. would you mind sharing the recipes for pistachio butter, and port wine jelly? i am so drooling right now

At 11:00 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

I will do my best to get them to you tomorrow!

At 9:21 AM, Blogger Niki said...

I'm so impressed, not just with the the range of goodies you've produced, but for the fact that you're the only person I've known who has *ever* made their own crumpets! I heard rumours it could be done, and you've proven it!
All the creations sound marvellous, and I like how you did a port wine jelly too. But you're jelly is more like what we in Australia (and UK) would call a jam, yes? In a jar, to spread on bread, rather than a dessert to be eaten with a spoon like our jellies?

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Niki said...

erm - your jelly! (apologies for that unforvigeable lapse of grammar! What kind of librarian am I??!)

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Niki!

I feel really good about the crumpets, and it turns out they're not too terribly difficult to make, either. Just a bit of time involved, as you wait for the batter/dough to rise, twice.

Right...what you call 'jelly' would be more like Jell-O, here!

Jelly in the U.S. generally means some sort of fruit spread, yes. A dessert, eaten with a spoon would be the stuff Bill Cosby used to shill for! (watch it wiggle, see it jiggle...)

Oh, and grammar gaff forgiven.

At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Julia said...

Oh, so the jelly in the peanut-butter-and-grape-jelly sandwich I always read about in American writings is actually a jam. Silly me! I used to wonder why Americans would put Jello in a peanut butter sandwich.

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

And I, Julia, used to wonder why everyone outside the US eat jelly (spreadable fruit) for dessert!

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Julia said...


At 1:42 AM, Blogger Niki said...

Stephanie, I, and a friend of mine, are interested in the crumpet recipe. Would you be able to send it to me, or post it? I probably won't be able to make it in the near future, but my friend is keen.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

I'll get that out to you today!

At 9:26 PM, Blogger Niki said...

Got the recipe. Thank you! I'll send it off to my friend right now.


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