I asked my Dad a few weeks ago what he would like for Father’s Day. A certain meal? Something special? A Mani-Pedi appointment? This is our periodic ritual; a manicure-pedicure, just the two of us. In addition to a soak & a trim for his hands and feet, he gets a long massage for his hands, feet and shoulders. With a nod from me, the girls at the salon know the routine, and I always pay, after a hushed accounting. At the end of the visit Dad always asks me, “how much did that cost?” I always respond the same, “$20.” And Dad is happy.
So back to this Sunday, American Father’s Day. What does he want? 1) NO family dinner, can’t stand all that noise, my sisters’ arriving late and leaving early with the leftovers; 2) YES to the manicure-pedicure appointment; 3) he wants a “personal” jar of jam, “something good;” and 4) a loaf of “that brown sourdough bread.” Lastly, 5) a steak for dinner on Sunday. Next month we will celebrate his 80th birthday, so I guess at this age you know exactly what you want. I am indeed planning something special for his birthday; thankfully I am hosting. I have been on the look out the last few weeks for “something good” for his jam jar, and last weekend I found it; four boats of tiny fresh raspberries and four boats of boysenberries ready to burst.
Boysenberries are a cross between a raspberry, a blackberry and a loganberry, and they are something of a local delicacy. You can read about them HERE. They appear at our local markets for a very short time each summer, and when the best are available, I snap them up and sauce and jar them. Boysenberry syrup is made commercially by Knott’s Farms, but home-made on pancakes or dessert will knock your socks off.
I will post a pic of the berries this week; I got too excited I guess and took this pic as I started the jam process~
I use an old French recipe, which calls for a 3:1 ratio of fruit to sugar. My recipe calls for making a syrup of sugar with a tiny bit of water. Before the days of thermometers, this recipe says to boil the syrup until it “falls through the holes of the skimmer as when making balls of soap.” I use a little less sugar, and here is a pic after I added the fruit and stirred a bit~
That may not look particularly appetizing, but in it’s final form it looked wonderful; I put the jam in the biggest vintage French Jam Jar I have~
The sight of this made Dad really happy, and he immediately asked me to get him a plate of the blackberry and rose ice creams I had made that day and top it off with “his” jam~
Dad is happy, all week, with his morning toast of Poilaine bread “au levain” and evening ice cream topped with his jam. Father’s Day all week….why not?