Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
All too often, grape jelly gets the short stick. Jars from the grocery store are nothing to treasure, but a homemade version made at the peak of the grape season is another story—take it from a vocal critic of Welch’s. Make it yourself with this step-by-step DIY recipe.
Get out the canning jars, locavores! It may be hard to imagine the long months of kale and tangerines ahead, but our local tomatoes, berries, and peaches will only be around for another couple of months. Time to get canning to capture the taste of summer in January, without having to succumb to the pricey carbon footprint of out-of-season produce. Bay Area Bites writers share their favorite tips and tricks for making homemade jam, jelly, pickles, sauces, and more.
Staff meals vary from china plates and wine glasses to communal sandwich bars: Megan Gordon chats with one baker, one jam maker and one very well-known Bay Area restaurant about how and why they take the time to plan for very specific staff meals.
Summer is on the way, time for strawberries and cream & do-it-yourself art at the Napa InDIYdependent Culture Faire. And what to do with all the leftovers? Homemade strawberry shortcake, of course!
Just as quince gets described as apple’s tough, weird older sister, so apricots are often just a placeholder for peach-lovers, something sweet and orange with a pit that will do until the real goodies come along.
But apricots are good for cooking in a way that peaches aren’t, their flavor intensifying into an ineffable tangy sweetness that leans just right against a crumbly, buttery crust or a piece of whole-grain toast. And ask any home jam-maker what apricot they prefer, and you’re bound to hear paens of praise for a little, freckly, squishy, short-season fruit that, when ripe, practically turns to jam all by itself.
No matter what you do, fruit+sugar=sweet fruity goodness. And just like homemade pie, homemade jam is better than anything you can buy, even from a fancy place. Why? Because anywhere this side of Smuckers, you’re using more fruit and less sugar when you make your jam at home.
Fallen Fruit identifies where you can find free fruit that has fallen and encourages public consumption. The movement began in Los Angeles but public jam making events take place in various locations. At YerbaBuena Center for the Arts you an will bring your own fresh fruit and clean jars and learn to make jam with the folks from Fallen Fruit. Fallen Fruit will also lead a discussion about the basics of jam and jelly making, pectin and bindings, the aesthetics of sweetness, as well as the communal power of shared food and the liberation of public fruit.