Sin-A-Mon Tales

A chronicle of my kitchen experiments, a little healthy a little indulgent

Saying NO one step at a time

So I have been trying, trying to say NO to processed and preservative filled foods we buy over the counter one at a time as much as I can. Sometime ago I had read this book called “Make the bread, buy the butter” which is written by Jennifer Reese of the blog The Tipsy Baker, (which is a great blog BTW). In this book she makes loads of items that you generally buy off the shelf at a store and then compares the homemade version with the store bought version based on taste, cost, and hassle and then tells you whether you should make or buy that particular item. Though the book is based in the west and mostly talks about the food they cook and not our daily foods but I was glued to the book till I finished, I loved the way she looked at the whole thing and all this weaved with some beautiful stories around her life and some fabulous recipes. It was a book I fell in love with pretty fast and its a touch away in my iPad now. Do pick up the book if you can, I strongly recommend it and boy its funny too. Sample this in the chapter titled “Junk Food and Candy”, she quotes Michale Pollan’s advice from Food Rules about how you can eat all the junk you want as long as you are willing to make it yourself since, “chances are good it won’t be every day” and then says “Oh, Michael Pollan, you underestimate me.

Since I have read this book, I have been making quite somethings at home (and buying some like she says but then she talks about buying chickens and more too). I have been making breads, sauces like pizza/pasta sauces, hummus and other dips like mayo, jams and preserves at home and then I read this article (30 foods you’ll never need to buy) and was reminded of the book again and reiterated my intention to saying NO to preservatives. So I have taken it upon myself that in the next year or so I will bring my house to a minimum preservative place. Make as much as I can at home and then post the journey on the blog.

So we start with a preserve that has stolen everyone’s heart at home. The recipe that has been loved as much as the “Strawberry Balsamic Pepper Preserve“. I have made three batches already, eaten them and given them to friends who have already been asking for more. Friends presenting “Fig honey & Paprika Preserve”


Recipe – Fig honey & Paprika Preserve

What I used

  • 500 grams ripe Figs
  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Lemon zest
  • 2 tsp paprika (4-5 jalapenos will work too)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup  brown sugar

How I made it

  • Wash and chop the figs and let them dry
  • Add honey and figs in a pan and cook on high heat for about 5 mins till the figs start caramelise a bit.
  • Add the sugar and rest of the ingredients and let it cook and simmer for a while. To check whether its done dip a chilled spoon into the boiling jam mixture and hold it above the pan, if the jam falls down together like a sheet rather than falling in drops, its done (check this link to see what are they other options to check whether jamming or jelly is done)
  • Cool, store in a clean container and use within a month at room temperature


7 comments on “Saying NO one step at a time

  1. Santulan
    June 4, 2013

    For quite some time we substituted Jam with murabba and chhunda..

    WIll go through this link and see what al I can do at home (owing to my lazy tendencies )

  2. VS
    June 4, 2013

    Is it ok to cook honey?

  3. Jandy
    June 4, 2013

    Enjoyed your review of the book as much as the pic of the preserve as much as the recipe.

  4. Wanderer
    June 5, 2013

    Awesome! I was thinking of making a list of frequently used sauces and try to make them at home. This came as a welcome kick for me 🙂 I’ll take inspiration from you and make the list (for a start).

  5. D
    June 5, 2013

    Slightly unrelated, but not totally: One of my biggest fears is not knowing how to make achar for my son, having to buy the ready-to-eat variety. No, there’s nothing wrong with packaged pickles, but it can never be like the homemade one. Just now, we have the nani and dadi to make yummy achars, jams and jellies of all sorts. What you’ve posted here should be another motivation for me to learn how-to starting now.

  6. ladynimue
    June 6, 2013

    love this 🙂
    though I don’t eat all these much , it might be good to make some day for family ..

  7. Dr. R. Gyana Prasuna
    June 20, 2013

    I really like this idea. Its like going back to your roots healthy and better in all respects. A little care should do the trick.

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This entry was posted on June 4, 2013 by in Jams and Conserves, Making Basics At Home and tagged , , , .

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