Kiwis Maximus

Every jam has a story. Pull up a chair kids, here is the kiwi story.

I got a phone call from a guy that saw my jams at Plumper Pumpkin Patch. He wanted to sell me some of his kiwis.

That was unusual because I am usually the one that tracks down the fruit, but this time, the fruit found me. It took a couple weeks to finally complete the transaction. I’m not sure of all the details, but I guess he had some family issues to attend to.

I had heard that these fuzzy little buggers grew around here, but didn’t plan on using them this year.

Another of my many mottos is: “Jam big or go home.” That led me to sample the kiwis in a 25 lb intro shipment. –Yes, there is usually over 100 lbs of fruit in various forms of ripenning in my garage. That usually creates some sort of panic when it is ready to go all at once!

It’s not that I don’t like kiwis, but they have this strange after taste to me. I remember as a kid, someone told me to close my eyes and they would taste like strawberries. I’m not sure what closing my eyes had to do with it, but they were just a little strawberry-like, then a weird taste at the end. I’m not sure if it is like that for everyone, but again, I didn’t think I would be working with a boat-load of kiwis.

These are from a farm in Hillsboro–btw, if you want info on any of my farms, let me know–and they are a little smaller than what is typically at the market. I don’t know, how do you tell if a kiwi is ripe? I just dove in and started cutting them up for a jam.

Even though I have a pretty good idea of my jam recipe before I start, I do like to look at where others have traveled before me. If there is some weird pitfall, I would rather avoid it!

I try to start with a “normal” recipe, then I branch out. I didn’t think I would be thrilled with straight kiwi Jam, but was curious how it would look. My recipe was as follows:

Kiwi Jam
4 cups kiwi
4 1/2 c sugar
1 T of lemon juice
pectin.

***Recipe Snob Alert***
Yes, you heard me correctly. There are literally thousands of kiwi jam recipes online. If you are new to canning & jamming, I recommend, http://www.pickyourown.org. It has step by step instructions, with pictures for all things canning.

You gotta always boil your jars and prepare your fruit, etc–I’m not here to waste my time and yours reiterating that. I am here to speak the truth of my fruit and let you get an itty-bitty peak into my process.

Now where was I? Oh, yes. The jam jelled nicely and has a light flavor to it. It is a pretty, chunky, kiwi green. It is a good jam, and for me, doesn’t have the aftertaste I mentioned before. Will it be one of my favorites? No, not likely, but they all can’t be my favorites.

Next, I did Strawberry-Kiwi Jam.
3 c Strawberries
3 c Kiwis
7 c Sugar
pectin.

I was worried the red and green would make a mud colored jam, but it looks almost like a chunky Strawbery Jam. Next time, I may add more Kiwis to try to have more show up in the final product.

The future? Strawberry-Kiwi Parfait. Yup, I’m going there with Whipped Cream Vodka. I hope it doesn’t suck–the vodka and the jam. It just kind of sounds good? I’ve never had the vodka, but I would love if it imparted a creamy taste to the jam. I will just have to find out. Stay tuned!

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