My camera is in the closet. It has been there for a while. While I keep thinking that I want to take it out to take pictures of the first Peruvian Apple cactus fruit, of the white shark teeth and tiger claws of the garlic tearing through the earth, and of our beast Indiana-the-dog, it is Indiana himself that keeps the camera in the closet. To him, everything in my hand must be chewed, immediately. So, I haven't been taking pictures, and the gardening I've been doing I've been doing in the dark with a headlamp after the dog has hunkered down for the night in his crate. It's been a busy time, but I'm still trying to fit moments of myself between hours of the dog.
This week, a friend gave me bags of apples and feijoas
from her trees. Around here, behind the local Macy's, along the edges
of properties, in municipal parking lots, feijoas grow beautifully. They
grow in places that pass as hedgerows in our part of the world. This time of year, the feijoa trees drop the dull, pebbly green fruits in piles of
egg-shaped beauties under their branches. The fruits release their
pineapple-eucalyptus scent even before someone cuts them open to reveal
their pear-textured flesh. My mom, who relies heavily on her nose for much of her decision-making, declares these aromatic fruits her favorite.
With piles of the fruit sitting in bags in my house, I set out to
find a good way to preserve the fragrance of early autumn in Southern
California. Feijoa jam turns out to be perfect; it produces a fruit
studded jam that intensifies the fruits' fragrance and tastes fantastic
on hot buttered sourdough. It exceeded my expectations.
Thank Indiana for the lack of pictures.
You will need:
2 pounds peeled feijoas, roughly chopped (weigh after peeling!)
A handful of reserved feijoa peels
2 1/2 cups sugar
the finely grated rind of one organic lemon and its juice
To make the jam:
the reseved peels in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a
boil over medium heat and cook for one minute. Remove from heat.
the feijoas, sugar, grated lemon peel and juice, and one quarter cup of
strained liquid from the peels. Place over medium-high heat and bring
to a boil. Boil the mixture for approximately ten minutes (it happens
quickly with all the pectin from the peels and lemon) and check to see
if the mixture has jelled. If it has, remove from heat. If not, continue
boiling until jelling point.
Pour the mixture into sterilized jars, place new,
warmed lids on the jars, and process in a boiling water bath for 15
minutes. If you have any question about how to do this, please spend
some time on the USDA home preservation website.