Something magical happened when Ms. Lucy Fitzgerald Bullock and Mr. Tom Zippelli came together for a summer BBQ of epic proportions. It was edible love at first sight and plans to reunite were made before the night was over. About 2 months later, it happened, and they joined forces once again for what will now be referred to as The First Annual Can Jam.
homemade smoked peach beer with orange juice, brûléed peaches, and muddled raspberry
In addition to the aforementioned chefs, we had a handful of very impressive Johnson and Wales grads and Daniel Sieger of Foley’s Backstreet Grille. The main agenda was to pickle and jam EVERYTHING IN SIGHT. For the ingredients we spent the previous day at Smolak Farms, where we picked a bounty of apples, raspberries and green tomatoes. Tom made a visit to his own local farmstand in Providence and bought more peppers of varying color, size, and heat than I’ve ever seen in my life.
Then there was the mushrooms. Freshly foraged. From the forrest. Yes, they forage their own mushrooms.
rare chicken of the woods mushrooms, used for pickling and served on toasts with ricotta cheese for an appetizer
I know, right?
Throughout the day we pickled everything under the sun including heirloom cherry tomatoes, okra, greenbeans, cucumbers, carrots, green tomatoes, mushrooms, radishes, etc., etc. Excessive? Never when it comes to pickles.
Then we made raspberry jam! Here’s how… (by Lucy)
1. Pick fresh berries from a precious farm in New England, 3 quarts
2. Wash them carefully, pick out stems, leaves, and such
3. Put in pot, medium heat, smash a little
4. Add maple syrup because it has a lovely taste – use as much as you’d like, depending on sweetness preference
5. Bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer.
6. Sqeeze half a lemon into pot (for acidity and freshness)
7. Now get comfortable and camp out in front of the stove with a wooden spoon (and book to keep you occupied)! Constantly stir for like 45 minutes. Scrape the bottom so it doesn’t burn. Use a thermometer to check temperature of the raspberry stew. It should be nearing gel point at about 200 degrees. If you have trouble with the temperature, turn it up a little and then check the gel point by putting a little on a plate and put it in the freezer. If it’s gelled, you’ll know.
9. Process (boil the whole jar with the lid on it) for about 10 minutes, killing all bacteria.
And of course you can’t spend a day at the Providence Test Kitchen without eating and drinking like a king. Tom also whipped up a turkey, chicken of the woods mushroom risotto, ricotta and mushroom toasts, squash blossoms, and an impromptu apple pie.
Now we have more than enough pickles and jam to get us through the winter. Probably next summer too. Fine by us. HAPPY FALL EVERYONE!
Photos by Dillon Burke and Sam Lemansky.