Jam & Jelly Making Basics

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As I have added more recipes for making jams and jellies, I began to realize I was repeating myself. A lot. I already do that as a teacher all day long. It’s not fun.

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Rose Petal & Pistachio Revani

Whoever discovered that roses taste as good as they smell… thank you. You’ve helped me justify having so many different roses in my garden. Not that I felt I had to have an excuse, but there’s nothing wrong with having one ready, you know?

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Coconut-Chocolate Snow Balls

These morsels of chocolate-y bliss are my childhood’s definition of the Christmas holidays. If these weren’t being made, you might as well just haul the tree to the curb and call the whole thing off.

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Melomakarona (Greek Honey Cookies)

There is a huge debate amongst Greek circles as to which is the best Greek Christmas cookie. You’re either Team Kourambiethes, or you’re Team Melomakarona. I just say, I’ll eat yours, whatever it is, if you don’t want it.

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Pomegranate Molasses & Syrup (Grenadine)

Perhaps you already know the Greek mythological story of how the goddess Persephone was tricked into staying in the underworld by the god Hades by being tempted with pomegranate. Honestly, I can’t blame her.

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Traditional Greek Fig Spoon Sweet

Figs are an oddity in the fruit tree world. If given the right conditions, they’ll produce fruit throughout the year. But what happens if that’s not the conditions you happen to live in? You get creative, that’s what.

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Mosaiko (Greek Chocolate Refrigerator Cake)

I honestly believe that chocolate as we know it in its modern form is proof that God exists and loves us very, very, very, very much. Please don’t try to change my mind, I prefer to live in this version of reality.

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Sour Cherry Jam (No Added Pectin)

Several years ago we planted a Morello cherry tree in our garden. I was a little disappointed to later realize that it would never grow much bigger than 7 to 8 feet tall… until we started pulling in more cherries than I could figure out what to do with.

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Pasta Flora (Greek Jam Tart)

Each year we harvest a lot of fruit from our backyard orchard. Each year, I make a lot of jams and jellies. Each year I realize we don’t eat a lot of it. Hmmmm…

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Macadamia Nut and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

The beginning of each new year here starts off in the worst way for those whose resolutions were to eat healthier and lose weight: the arrival of Girl Scout Cookie season. Me personally, I embrace it with a little too much gusto.

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Moustokouloura (Greek Grape Molasses Cookies)

Chances are good that unless you were raised in a traditional Greek home, you have never heard of these cookies. They may not look like much, but you’ll have to trust me when I tell you that looks can be deceiving.

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Petimezi (Greek Grape Molasses)

I have finally accepted the fact that I will never be able to grow sugar maple trees to make my own maple syrup because of the climate here. But I live in grape growing country. So there.

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Fig Upside Down Cake

Anyone who has a fruiting fig tree will confirm that they can be overwhelmingly abundant. Not too many people mind this problem.

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Blackberry Lime Sherbet

If you recall a while back, I was “gifted” a large surplus of blackberries and lime juice from my parents in an attempt to clean out their freezer. Let’s just say I had a large amount of material to work with.

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Greek Spiced Candied Plums & Plum Brandy (or Plum Spoon Sweets & Syrup!)

20200802173352_IMG_5087Plums are liars.  Okay, not all plums lie, but when they do it’s really bad, but it’s nothing that booze and sugar can’t fix.  Well, at least in this case.

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Nectarine Sourdough Coffee Cake

20200610164931_IMG_4179Each summer my exercise routine consists of repeatedly running frantically out of my kitchen to the backyard, flapping my arms and yelling “ch ch ch ch” to scare away the scrub jays from my nectarine tree.  When I’m tired, I make the boys do it.

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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

20200615_172625One time, my reward from my dad for a semester of good grades was a jar of Planters Dry Roasted peanuts to have all to myself.  No joke, one of the best treats I’ve ever received.

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Strawberry & Vanilla Cream Ice Cream

20200607_160433There are times when I curse the summer heat here, and when it’s 105 F and hotter day after day, I can’t be blamed.  But then I remember that hot days do come with certain advantages, like excuses to eat ice cream.

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Rose Cordial & Candied Rose Petals

20200507_183737If you have ever eaten a Greek or Middle Eastern sweet with a floral flavor you couldn’t quite pin your finger on, it was likely flavored with rose.  Yes, like the ones in your garden.

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Quick & Easy Loukoumades (Greek Honey Puffs)

20200317_092347It’s a little embarrassing to admit that I have a recipe for a “cheater’s” version of a loukoumades recipe posted before one for the traditional (and actual) method.  Oh well, you’ll still like them anyway!

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