Monday, August 12, 2013

Rum for your life! National Rum Day

National Rum Day is Friday, Aug. 16. Make of it what you will, but here are a few ideas. Amoretti’s Peach Syrup has been good on my yogurt and pancakes, so a mix-in for rum seems a logical step.
This is peach month, so here are two peachy-keen homemade concoctions by Maral Barsoumian, developer of fresh gourmet ingredient line Amoretti, featuring Amoretti’s Peach Syrup. Amorreti’s syrups are made with premium, natural ingredients and contain about 1/3 the amount of sugar found in other brands’ syrups.

Sweet and Salty Peach Marinade: Recommended on pork, chicken, steaks, vegetable medley or salad

½ tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp pepper flakes
½ pump Amoretti’s Peach Syrup – about 1 teaspoon
Salt + pepper to taste

Homemade Peach Barbecue Sauce: Recommended on pork, chicken, or steaks

1 c yellow mustard
¼ c sugar
¼ c light brown sugar
¼ c water (or reduced sodium chicken/beef stock)
2 tbsp chilli poweder
½ tbsp soy sauce
½ pump Amoretti’s Peach Syrup – about 1 teaspoon
¼  tsp cayenne
Salt and  pepper to taste

Amoretti has martini mixes that come in shaker-style bottles with flavors like sour apple, and the passion fruit I tried. Make a virgin version by just pouring a mix over ice.
The Amoretti catalogue is almost too much to handle with flavors for sweet concoctions. I also tried Capriccio Exotic Islands Smoothie Mix that is shelf stable until activated with water. You think the bottle is not full, that maybe somebody already sampled it, but you add water and mix away. I added banana and rum, to pre-observe Rum Day. It was as easy as it was good.

Farmer’s Market finds:
I made my second visit to the Beaumont Farmer’s Market on College Street this Saturday and here’s what I learned:
* A woman was selling sweet potato vine leaves. My mom had just planted a vine, so I went home and sautéed some in olive oil and loved them. I did some internet research first, because some varieties or parts are considered poisionous.
* You can eat okra raw. I tried it right there. My mother bought some jumbo okra so big you could stuff them. She did, with andouille sausage, and we loved them.
* I can bake kale. Everybody says it is easy and it was. I just brushed it with oil and baked it with a tad of sea salt. Crazy crunchy and easy.

Can-it-Forward Day
Get busy now to be ready for National Can-it-Forward Day, Saturday, Aug. 17. Can you guess how you celebate? You preserve and share, educate and eat.
Ted Allen is helping spread the word, through Ball brand canning jars from Jarden Home Brands.
 Everyone loves a Ball jar.  Have you seen Pinterest lately? Look for the limited-edition, vintage-inspired Ball Heritage Collection Pint Jar  for cooking and DIY projects. More ways to celebrate:
  • Participants can share photos, videos, questions and comments on the Ball brand home canning Facebook page,, where fresh preservers from across the country will connect on Can-It-Forward Day. 
  • All recipes and craft ideas from the webcast segments will be available for inspiration on the Ball brand home canning Pinterest page,
  • Users can also Tweet along with the hashtag #canitforward.
  • Consumers across the country are invited to host their own home canning parties on National Can-It-Forward Day to teach friends and family the joys of fresh preserving. Visit for a Getting Started guide, home canning recipes and more.
I’m playing with an amazing beginner’s guide to canning and recipe booklet packaged as the Home Canning Discovery Kit. Besides the actual Ball jars, the cool thing is a green plastic patent pending canning rack with lifter that is just right for home kitchens today. I’ve had the pleasure of being part of a big family canning operation with lots of tools. The beginner kit is just enough to get you interested on this canning journey.
For more information about National Can-It-Forward Day or Ball brand home canning products visit and

I purchased very reasonably priced Wet n Wild drug store makeup and savored Ferguson Crest syrah private reserve wine in the same week. What the two have in common is singer Fergie, who lends her name to both. While the makeup is a fun bargain, the wine is her heart, and the label tells the story of watching her father tend fruit trees. Her family’s Scottish crest features a board’s head, which I did not realize is a symbol of hospitality. Fergusons are proud of their effort and should be. This wine was truly a cut above. Wine and music lovers will want some from this vineyard.

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