jelly

I Tried Pasczki and You Can Too (only today!!!)

We call it "The Polish Heart Attack"

Today, February 27th, is Fat Thursday (Tłusty czwartek) and according to Polish American tradition, it’s the one day a year that every bakery and pastry shop in town sell Paczki (pronounced “poch-key”). The desert is meant to be eaten the week before Ash Wednesday, a binge snack before the fast of Lent. I asked the Polish waitresses at Peter Pan why this is and they answered simply, “tradition.”  The girls explained that Pasczki is eaten all year ’round in the home country, but this is the only day you can get it here. You have until 8pm tonight, or  you’ll have to wait until next year.

So run, don’t walk to your nearest Polski food provider; most likely, they will be selling these doughey nuggets of joy today.  Continue reading

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And the winner is…

Congratulations Rachel! You won our giveaway book Jam On: The Craft of Canning Fruit by Laena McCarthy! Thanks to everyone who commented on their favorite jam. And stay tuned for future giveaways and contests!

Don’t worry, you can always buy a copy from Word, Greenpoint’s Favorite Book Store!

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Book Giveaway!!! Jam On: The Craft Of Canning Fruit

I’m sure you have all met the lovely Laena McCarthy while wandering through Sundays’ McGolrick Park Farmers Market and tasted the delicious jams she sells by the name of Anarchy in a Jar. Greenpointers’ very own Jam Queen is coming out with a book called Jam On: The Craft of Canning Fruit (in stores 8/6/12).

In the meantime, Laena was generous enough to give away a free copy to one of Greenpointers’ lucky readers! To enter: tell us your favorite jam in the comments below! (it’s that easy!)

One winner will be chosen randomly. Comments will be closed on Sunday August 5th at 11:59pm. Winner will be announced on Monday August 6th, 2012. Good luck!

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RECIPES: SUMMER IS STRAWBERRIES

They sell gigantic and often tasteless strawberries all year round at the supermarket, but when the local farmers start wheeling and dealing these heavenly berries, I go insane. Often over $4 per pint, local strawberries seem pricey, but they are so worth it because they taste like they have been ripened in the sun not like they have been sitting in the refrigerator section of the produce isle. There are so many things you can do with these little treasures.

I have been on a jam rampage. Straight out of the 1970 Blue Ball Book of Canning, I make the trusted and true strawberry jam recipe, but I half the amount of strawberries and 1/4 the amount of sugar and it comes out great.

Strawberry Jam
2 Quarts Crushed Strawberries
3-6 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Lemon Juice (optional)

Slowly bring ingredients to a boil then fast boil it, stirring often, for 40 minutes until it passes the jam test. Hot water boil for 10-15 minutes in sterilized ball jars.

If you’re unsure about anything, don’t risk it, check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation or Ball’s Fresh Preserving.

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SPICED BEER JELLY? YES!

© Jen Galatioto

While getting some to-go lunch at Radish (158 Bedford Ave.), I spotted  a jar of Spiced Beer Jelly from Anarchy in a Jar. I’d never heard of such a thing, but the first ingredient on the label was Six Craft Ales, along with local apples, sugar, lemon juice, black cardamom, indonesian cinnamon, grains of paradise and all natural pectin. I gave it a go with some crusty bread and bleu cheese. This might be one of my new favorite jarred goodies, right up next to Bacon Marmalade. It is nicely spiced, apples are the prevalent flavor, and it is not too sweet or overly zesty. On cheese it is complimentary like a fig jam would be, but much more subtle in flavor. As for the beer, there isn’t a strong beer flavor, but it’s damn good.

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