In a Jam

Sorry to have abandoned this blog all last week!  We had a great vacation in Michigan and Door County, Wisconsin but it took a lot of time to get reorganized and back into work mode after we returned home.  I hope you found at least a few of my posts from the road interesting.  Thanks for making the journey with us.

I am back to work on Four-Course FACS, A Fictional Culinary Adventure, my newest resource for FACS teachers.  I’m more excited about this curriculum than any I’ve written in a while.  The activities are all based on the young adult novel, Pizza, Love and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams.  The novel is absolutely a food service or culinary arts teacher’s dream come true.  I’m having a wonderful time developing the classroom activities for this one.

Four-Course FACS will include at least 50 recipes.  Each recipe will be adjusted, and formatted to make it appropriate for classroom use.  Each recipe I include in Four-Course FACS will be kitchen-tested and edited to ensure student success.  Recipe development is one of my favorite steps in creating a new culinary resource.  (It’s also one of my husband’s favorites!  No surprise there, right?  LOL)

I officially began working on the recipe development phase of the project today by making Tomato Basil Jam.  This recipe is part of Sophie’s (the main character in the novel) final entry as a “cheftestant” on Teen Test Kitchen, the competition that is at the heart of the novel’s story.  It might seem a little backwards to start with a recipe at the end of the novel, but the late bounty of beautiful tomatoes still coming from our garden made the decision for me.

The original Tomato Basil Jam recipe is made from fresh tomatoes and basil.  I plan to develop a version of this recipe that uses canned tomatoes, which will make the preparation much faster and easier.

This pretty jam is thickened with packaged fruit pectin for low-sugar recipes.  The recipe only yields 5 half-pint jars, making it perfect to share with a group of students.  The jam can be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks, so processing in a boiling-water canner would not be absolutely necessary.

The Tomato Basil Jam is sweet and slightly savory.  Delicious!  Sophie serves it with her entree of Salmon en Papillote, along with a julienne medley of zucchini, carrots, and turnips in lemon-dill butter.  Sounds yummy, doesn’t it?  Can’t wait to experiment with a few main dishes of my own!  I think it might be great mixed with cream cheese to make an appetizer spread for crusty bread or crackers.

On the menu tomorrow is Apple Galette!  Yum!!

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