I found a new produce—new to me at least—at Trader Joe’s this week, Thomcord grapes. These grapes are a crossbreed of Thomson seedless and Concord grapes. They have dark purple skins and a wonderful flavor. While my wife Jan does not like grape jelly—growing up her mother bought nothing but Welch’s grape jelly—daughter Eilene loves it. She asked me to turn these grapes into a jam.
Karl’s Thomcord Grape Jam
Last week, Jan went to the Central Valley to visit her friends and she came back with a mound of fruit. Since most of it was still not ripe I put it into brown paper bags to ripen. This Sunday it all came ripe at once. What to do? A fruit cobbler came to mind.
Karl’s Stone Fruit Tart / Cobbler
Jan had a sudden desire for rice pudding. I happened to have some cooked rice on had so it was actually ready more quickly than usual. I had to change something, today, I decided to combine my Irish rice pudding and my apple rice pudding.
Karl’s Baileys Apple Rice Pudding
Jan just had a temporary crown put in so she asked for one of her favorite comfort foods, rice pudding. As usual, I had to change something. Today, I decided to throw in some apple.
Karl’s Apple Rice Pudding
The last time I made strawberry jam, Jan complained that it was too sweet. I decided to cut the sugar way back. At the start, I was unsure whether I would need to add some commercial pectin. This is a total experiment.
Karl’s Low-Sugar Ginger Strawberry Jam
Jan is making chocolate mousse to go with my 65th birthday dinner. For me Claudia’s Chocolate Mousse is the mousse by which all others are judged. It is however, not a health food. It has replaced cakes as the birthday treat in our house.
Jan’s Cinnamon Chocolate Mousse
While I originally adapted this recipe from Joy of Cooking, I am constantly tinkering with it (recipe 1, recipe 2, recipe 3, recipe 4, recipe 5, recipe 6, recipe 7, recipe 8, recipe 9,and recipe 10). Every time I have several overripe bananas it is time to start baking.
Karl’s Cinnamon Banana Nut Mini-Muffins
My wife, Jan, went to Fresno to visit family and friends just before Christmas. One of her friends orange bombed me with 40 perfectly ripe, 3 inch navel oranges—enough to make almost 20 jars of marmalade. I have already made and given away this year’s Christmas batch. What could I do to use them up without them just sitting on my shelf?
Karl’s Super-Concentrated Fine-Shred
Orange and Cranberry Marmalade
I have a few recipes that I make again and again. However, my penchant for never making the same recipe the same way twice means that they have morphed since I posted them years ago. My Christmas marmalade is one such recipe.
Karl’s Christmas Fine-Shred Orange and Lemon Marmalade
Being the cook of the family, Jan frequently asks me to make something when she needs a mitzva meal or a dish for a potluck. Last week it was Ethno Breakfast—a local (Bay Area) meeting of corporate ethnologists. Since all except the largest firms hire only one person in this discipline, this can be an isolated job—one anthropologist amongst an entire company of engineers and MBAs. Jan has been pushing this field for several years, so some of the local practitioners are her former students. Ethno Breakfast provides a community to share ideas and problems once a month.
Karl’s Potluck Curried Deviled Eggs
Packed up and ready to go