26 May 2011

Strawberries and Jam and Local Produce

The strawberries went local today.  They've flooded the bazaar for the last few weeks, mostly from Uzbekistan and costing about $1 a pound which was a great price for someone used to buying strawberries in the US.  But today they were local (and I learned the word for local, which I knew, but didn't know it was used that way) and cost 50 cents a pound.  Even better.  I imagine the price will go down more, but I'm happy with where it's at now.

So I've made lots of strawberry jam.  I have a little pectin, but I want to save that for the raspberries and peaches and apricots that will be coming later.  Strawberries seemed like the best option for trying no-pectin jam (and jam is runny here anyway, and we don't care).  So I cleaned and hulled 12 cups of strawberries and mixed them with 3 cups of sugar in a huge pot and simmered them for about 10 minutes.  I used a potato masher to mash them up a bit, but it was still chunky.  It would have jammed better if I'd cooked it longer, but I prefer less cooking on my jam.  After it was done cooking, I poured in 6 tablespoons of lemon juice, then stirred and skimmed the foam, poured it into containers, cooled the jars on the counter, then stuck them in the fridge overnight, and then into the freezer because I don't can.  The jam is delicious and runny, but still jammy.  Perfect. 

The jusay was the first produce to go local.  It had been coming from China for 10 som a bunch, and now it's 10 som for three bunches and comes from a town just outside Tokmok.  Then the red radishes (although I don't know how much the price dropped because I don't do radishes) and then the cucumbers dropped.  The cucumbers went from about a dollar a pound to the current 35 cents a pound.  And the green onions are local now, and there's fresh garlic too.  Yay for spring.  And Dungans who produce excellent produce. 

1 comment:

  1. Hooray for the Dungans and their farming heritage.

    I'm glad you have a freezer. And thanks for spelling jusay for me. I've wondered :)