Debbie Dance Uhrig
Since blueberry season is upon us, what better time to mix up a batch of jam?
Perfect for muffins, bagels, toast, ice cream, cheesecake or lemon cake. This recipe takes just a little different twist with amaretto. However remember by the time jam is cooked alcohol is like g-o-n-e. The flavor we’re left with is just outstanding. This will also make a nice hostess gift to take to the next brunch or dinner affair. It’s always best to do single batches of jam. However I have successfully prepared this recipe in a double.
Did you ever think of preparing a salad dressing using an interesting jam? Warm up the jam and add the vinegar and oil along with fresh herbs and you could have a very interesting fresh salad accompaniment.
If that doesn’t float your boat remember different flavors of jam work for appetizers. Practically any jam or jelly can be turned into a ‘jezebel’ sauce with the addition of horseradish, mustards, peppers, onions and spices. Pour the jazzed up jam over a block of cream cheese for a simple opener.
Besides placing this jam on my toast or scone I would say I prefer it best served with ice cream or an elegant dessert. Keep in mind how delicious blueberry is against lemon. They flatter each other superbly. If you make a frozen lemon dessert this summer accompany it with a dollop of the amaretto jam on top.
For the first time in ‘many’ weeks I was off this past Saturday, attending a family outing, honoring Ervin’s brother, Dale. We carried our gear and meal fixins to ‘Chadwick’, which is a well-known motorcycle sports area. Dale and his sons are big enthusiasts. Dale said he thought he had been going to Chadwick since he was around 14 years of age. I regretted we had never gone to Chadwick after spending the day, at this beautiful state park. Phillip, our son, got his first taste of the sport. I can’t say it’s something he’s going to pursue as a hobby. However he would like to at least participate with his cousins now and then.
Even though I was rather tired after a 13 hour day on Friday, I had a great time on Saturday, with Ervin & Dale’s family and friends. Since I was off for both Saturday and Sunday I spent Sunday resting. Monday we hit the party scene again with a ‘Stuffed Baked Potato’ party in the garage. Several of Phillip’s friends are headed over for dinner. As soon as I pen this column I’m headed back to the kitchen to finish pulling about 15-17 pounds of pork for this event.
Here in the Ozarks we have continued to receive additional rains. There’s been no need to water any flowers or plants, that’s for sure. We’re looking at the calendar to head up to KC for a Royals game before the summer wraps up. Terry & Gary, Sharon & George, get ready, we will be coming your way! Summer is definitely here, it just feels a little off balance this season.
Staying hydrated is so important during the heat of summer. It helps in steering clear of issues with cramping and joint pain. Eating the recommended amounts of fish each week will also help with body inflammations. Keep something cool in the deep freezer to lower the body temperatures inside and out.
This cook is needed in the kitchen. Time to pull the pork and refrigerate the au jus for the night. Tomorrow I’ll remove the oil for the sauce, and return the juices to the seasoned meat. Embrace the week friends and enjoy! Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Amaretto Blueberry Jam
4 cups blueberries
3 cups granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
*1/2 -1 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Amaretto
1 box pectin (1.75 oz.)
1 teaspoon butter
5-6 half pint jars, flats and rings
Canning tongs and funnel
Before starting the canning; sterilize jars and place flats in a small saucepan totally covering with water. Assemble a damp lint free towel/cloth to clean the rims after filling the jars and another dry cloth to dry the flats before sealing the jars. Also have all ingredients organized with the sugar pre-measured.
Wash and stem blueberries, using a potato masher mash about half of the berries. In a saucepan place the berries, amaretto, almond flavoring and lemon juice. Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes. Stir in sugar and bring mixture back to a two minute boil. (Turn water on under flats at this time, bringing to a boil.) ‘If’ you notice the jam is foaming add the teaspoon of butter, usually I just do this just to be safe. It’s now time to can.
Using a canning funnel and a measuring cup fill the sterilized jars coming within approximately a half inch from the top of the jar. Remove a flat from the boiling water drying completely. Place flat on jar rim and tighten down with the ring. Usually this recipe yields approximately five half pints however having a sixth jar handy is always a good thing.
If the jam is leaving your home or going to a fair or competition it must have a hot water bath of about 10 minutes. This means you put warm water in a large stockpot setting the sealed jars inside, with at least an inch of water over the top of the jars. Bring to a hard boil for about 10 minutes and remove.
*If you want stronger almond flavor put in a full teaspoon of extract.