Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Trendy? New?

I bought a jar of chilli jam at the Farmer’s Market recently, from a new stallholder, and very good it is too. I can still remember the first jar of chilli jam I ever bought. It was a few years – not a few decades – ago. Suddenly, it seems, every deli and grocery store and farmer’s market is selling chilli jam of one sort or another.

When I got home from the market, I made a cup of chai from the tea-bag selection that was part of a Christmas hamper gift. Over the last few years – years, not decades – it also seems that all of the coffee shops around the city now offer chai, and every supermarket stocks the prepared mixes.

There is no doubt about it, food fashions come and go – or do they just fade slightly between major appearances? It was yesterday’s source (For Luncheon and Supper Guests, by Alice Bradley, Boston, 1923) that got me wondering along those lines. This is why …

Spiced Syrup for Tea.
Put in a small saucepan
1 cup water and
½ cup sugar. Heat to boiling point and when sugar is dissolved add
1 tablespoon whole cloves, crushed, and a
2-inch piece stick cinnamon broken in pieces, tied together very loosely in a piece of cheesecloth. Boil gently to 215 degrees F. or to a thin syrup. When cool add juice of
2 lemons. Serve in small bowl, using
1 tablespoon syrup in each cup of tea.

Pepper Jam.
1 small can pimientos and force through food chopper. Put in saucepan, add
¾ cup sugar and
½ cup vinegar, stir until sugar is dissolved and boil gently to 220 degrees F. or until mixture is the consistency of jam. Pour in small sterilized glasses ad when cool cover with melted paraffin.
If preferred use,
3 sweet bell peppers in place of pimientos. Remove seeds, force through food chopper, sprinkle with
Salt, and let stand 3 or 4 hours. Drain, rinse, and finish as above.

Quotation for the Day.

Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world.
T'ien Yiheng

1 comment:

Heiko said...

I've come across chilli jam in Calabria, down in Southern Italy, where it is quite a tradition. They put chilli into anything there. I've been making some ever since myself, although to my own recipe. It's great with a strong cheese such as a mature pecorino.