Archive for the 'Boiling Mini Batches of Sugar At Night On Lauren’s Poorly-Lit Stove' Category

Pipe Dream #335: To Resuscitate – Blackberry Citrus Chia Jam

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This recipe is part of a new category of recipes on tha blog called “Boiling Mini Batches of Sugar At Night On Lauren’s Poorly-Lit Stove.” Also in this category are this rhubarb syrup and the bitters rock candy. Breaking all the food blogger best practices of natural lighting and sharp focus and DSLR-only because who has time for that unless you quit your day job.

meyer lemontini 2


Here. Throwback sharply-focused photo from when I was like, an intern at a non-profit or something.

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This recipe is kind of magic because you get fruit fiber jam in five minutes flat without all the hassle of the gellings and the other whatnots whathaveyous canning nonsense and annoyances of life with which you normally have to deal. It is also a nice use of any summer berries that may or may not be starting to mold because they are just so ripe and full of life that they were overwhelmed in their little berry beings and started to shut down. It’s not their fault.

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Spread on toast, stir into yogurt, eat with a spoon. It’s all good.



Blackberry Citrus Chia Jam

Adapted from The Kitchn

2 cups blackberries

splash orange juice

juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons chia seeds

Combine the blackberries, orange juice and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mash the berries with a fork and simmer for three minutes or so until the berries break down. Remove from the heat, and stir in the honey. Add the chia seeds and stir once until combined. Let stand for five minutes to thicken, then transfer to a jar to cool completely. This will keep in the fridge for about two weeks.

Bittersweet Rhubarb Simple Syrup Experiment, A Metaphor

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Isn’t our whole life just one bittersweet series of experiments?

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This syrup is timely, because rhubarb is having a moment with cocktails right now. I mean, it was this spring, and this syrup lasts in the fridge until summer so you can still have your off-season cocktail.

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Here’s to the day when all bitter things are made sweet,


P.S. Happy Sparklers Day in two!

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

From The Kitchn

4 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Combine the rhubarb, sugar, and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft and the liquid has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes.

Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Pour the rhubarb through the strainer until most of the liquid is in the bowl. Press the solids a little with the back of a spoon to extract more syrup.

Pour the syrup into a jar. Cover or cork the bottle and refrigerate.

The leftover rhubarb solids also make a great jam!

Pipe Dream #321: To Make a Time Investment – Angostura Rock Candy + Botanical Chocolate Cupcakes


These ballerina beauties took a good two weeks to procure. They are the longest cooking patience experiment of my life. Observe them well. It is well worth it.




Questions I had at the outset of this project: Why does this Angostura brand look like it is from the seventies? Something about that font. But I love the way it plays off the…Helvetica? There are like 16 fonts on this label. And why does the paper come halfway off the bottle?




I may never know, but what I do know is that I can make rock candy of my very own flavored with bitters and used for all sorts of nefarious and delightful purpose such as, I don’t know, a twist on the classic champagne cocktail?? Imagine rock candy in a champagne coupe!




Imma skip the technical instructions on this one, the link above was the best method I found in my research. I added in a tablespoon of bitters at the end and really did use a whole three cups of sugar instead of two.

The growth process was somewhat MacGyver-ed. I used these tiny plastic cups as the greenhouse growth place for the sticks because I wanted to not have to make gallons of the sugar solution, but I left the sticks a little too close to the bottom of the glasses, and they sort of grew crystals into the bottom of the glass. So when you go for it, I recommend using larger glasses and keeping your sticks about an inch from the bottom.


You can also dangle strings into the glasses. My major MAJOR happy idea was to grow rock candy on the ends of sparklers and stick THAT in a champagne glass. IMAGINE.

I let these grow for two weeks? I think? Maybe a little less.


You can save the extra sugar that crystallizes on the glasses for decor, and save the extra simple syrup for drinks/recipes. It’s interchangeable like maple syrup or honey and will last at least a few weeks in the fridge.


To use up the bitters syrup, I decided to try a floral chocolate cupcake, replacing the sugar in the normal recipe with the syrup. The end flavor result was real subtle, kind of like bitters in drinks, but the idea is worth fleshing out in future. And the rock candy leftovers made decorating a no-brainer.




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