Paris in May, which means we’re half way through spring already, but for some reasons the weather, for the past few weeks, has been really gloomy, with rain most of the time, and it’s really rare to see a day of sunshine. Spring shower, that sounds pretty romantic, but seriously the feeling of walking out on the street feeling the freezing wind blowing rain in your clothes and face is not fun at all. At times like these, spending time in the kitchen cooking up good food is my way to keep my mood from spiralling downwards. I actually made and photographed this recipes a few months back, but looking at these photos of the beautiful ruby red jam and writing down the recipe makes me feel a whole lot better.
It’s now the season of plums in Vietnam. Vietnamese-type plum is a rarity here, so I spent the last few seasons just staring at the photos and drooling. Fortunately somehow, back in the end of February, I stumbled over some plums in the supermarket neat my house, those with green skin, red flesh and a sweet sour taste just like Vietnamese plums. I must have consumed a kilogram over a week, and after stuffing myself I decided to make some jam and syrup (which turned out to be a good decision since after that, I couldn’t find any plums in the supermarket anymore).
If it’s plum season where you live, you should really try this recipe out. One process that yield two products that are both delicious and pretty, and you can use them for other dishes as well.
Công thức tiếng Việt: Xi-rô và mứt mận
It is officially spring here in France, with the clear blue sky dotted by white clouds looking like it stepped right out of a postcard. This is also the season for a flower that can be seen in almost every grass fields, flower pots, or even hiding in a corner in front of the gate: dandelions. Maybe for a lot of people, dandelions is just an ordinary kind of flowers, but for me the image of a green grass field dotted with dandelions as bright as the sun is utterly beautiful. It’s the reason why I sometimes just pick some flowers on my way back from doing grocery to put in a small pot like this, even though they would be wilted when night falls, the bright yellow flowers still manage to light up a whole corner of my room.
Recently on a Facebook page about cooking that I join, there is a trend for dandelion jelly. I was really curious when I first saw it, because I’ve never thought that jelly can be made from flower. After some internet research, I found out that it’s a pretty popular thing in the US, and a lot of people go harvest the flowers and turn them into jelly whenever the season comes. Looking at photos after photos of the topaz-coloured jelly jams made me want to just sprint outside, pick up flowers and make myself some, but the fear of flowers growing on the sidewalks or parks getting “marked” by puppies made me hesitated a whole lot.
Luckily I went on the Facebook page of Vietnamese student union in France and met some girls that had the same interest of harvesting flowers and strolling in the forest. So we made a quick plan, and after exploring the forest and talking about anything and everything, I came home with a bagful of dandelions, and after that a jar of jelly was well in my fridge. If you can I really recommend you to make this jelly, the bright sunshine like colour will make your breakfast or the afternoon cup of tea much more pleasant.
Công thức tiếng Việt: Mứt hoa bồ công anh
After making candied honey orange peels I have a lot of pulp left. I got tired of eating them for dessert so I decided to make some honey orange marmalade. One big bowl of orange pulp, add some thinly sliced orange zest (I juiced this orange to use later), and I got myself three little jars for breakfast or tea.
Orange marmalade is very easy to make, and it doesn’t take much time either. The basic ingredients are oranges, water and sugar, but in this flu-prone weather I altered the recipe a bit so it’s more ‘up-to-date’, adding honey which is very good for your health. Homemade orange marmalade, compared to store bought marmalade, is just as fragranced, bonus the very subtle sweet smell of honey, the color is somewhat richer as well, and the orange taste is much more obvious, and it is so tasty with the additional tangy taste of the orange zest. On a gloomy February day, eating breakfast with this jar of golden marmalade feels just like bringing the sun inside.
Công thức tiếng Việt: Mứt cam mật ong