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
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
We had not planned any dessert for this Sunday’s dinner. While we were eating, Jan was talking about her and Eilene’s visit to Monterey this week. While they went to the aquarium—of course—they also stopped at the Pepper Palace.
Jan’s Ghost Pepper Chocolate Sauce
Over the last few years, I have perfected my biscuit recipe. While I usually simply make biscuits, sometimes I use the dough for other purposes. Today, I was craving my mother’s sweet rolls.
Karl’s Cinnamon Sugar Buns
Before I left home for the first time, I sat down with my mother’s recipe box and wrote down my favorite dishes. These were all written to fit on a 3×5 card, written to remind her about how to make the dish. As a result, they are often hard for anyone else to “unpack” the sometimes cryptic instructions. Continue reading