Tag Archives: canning

The Generous Tamarind Tree

Couple days ago a family of tamarind harvesters asked my mother if they could harvest our tamarind fruits.  They’d buy the fruits but they’d also climb the tree.  It’s a family of 6–the parents plus 4 children.  The oldest child in tow, about 12 years old is also a tree climber like his father.  The rest of the kids are 6, 5 and a 2-year old.

 

The harvesters climbed the 40′ tree so effortlessly.  And because the fruits are mostly at the end of the branches, they had to go as close as possible at the end of the branches.

magoes,tamarind,kids 076 (533x800)           magoes,tamarind,kids 037 (800x533)

 

They harvested about 2 large sacks.

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They only took the green tamarind and left us the ripe ones.  The following day, there were just too much sampalok and I didn’t want to give them away.  So, I made jam.

tamarind jam

Here’s how to make the sampalok jam:

 

INGREDIENTS

2 kilos ripe tamarind, peeled and deveined

1 liter filtered water

1 1/2 kilos washed sugar

1 tbsp sea salt

 

Braise cleaned tamarind until pulp has disintegrated.  Using a strainer with large holes (colander is ok), ladle solid tamarind particles and push through sieve.  Discard solids.  All these can be done over the pot/kawali/vat.  Over medium heat, add sugar and salt, stir and reduce until mixture covers the back of the spoon.  Mixture should just be right–not too thick, not too runny.  When jam cools down, it’ll become thicker.

Pour hot tamarind jam directly from the stove to clean canning jars or any contraption you may want to store this in.  Pasteurization is necessary if you’re planning on storing this for a year–just follow canning instructions.  Otherwise, keep it on a tight-lid container and store in the fridge.   Enjoy with a piece of toast or a hot pandesal, or as an accoutrement for Manchego slices.

When life gives you tamarinds, make a sensational Sampalok Jam!

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Common Ground

Today, I had to cook Kare Kare for our Sunday supper (braised oxtail with peanut sauce and vegetables) and had to deal with a lot green mangoes from the farm and our neighbor’s mango harvest.  Kare Kare and green mangoes must go with a prepared bagoong (fermented shrimp fry).  I had to make it first thing in the morning–I was up early and started working on this because cooking this bagoong into a savory-salty-sweet with a texture of a conserve, takes about 2 hours top, for half a kilo.  I’d rarely make this but when I was with a Filipino restaurant in San Francisco, I made certain that my bagoong never come in those ready-made jars.  I insisted on cooking it, no matter what.

LEFT:  sauteed garlic, onions and tomatoes with fresh bagoong just added. MIDDLE:  In the process of reduction and introduction of sugar. RIGHT:  Canning.  This is the color of the freshly cooked bagoong.  It should look dark brown like the ones bought already made from stores.

LEFT: sauteed garlic, onions and tomatoes with fresh bagoong just added.
MIDDLE: In the process of reduction and introduction of sugar.
RIGHT: Canning. This is the color of the freshly cooked bagoong. It should look dark brown like the ones bought already made from stores.

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