Multigrain bread, blueberry jam, and a cup of chai

This morning I enjoyed a cup of homemade chai tea while munching on some homemade multigrain bread slathered with homemade blueberry jam. My sabbatical is delicious.

Daniel and I go through a lot of bread and a lot of jam. Between toast and PB&J sandwiches1 (our favorite hiking lunch!) we eat about a loaf a week and go through jam pretty rapidly as well. Knowing how much I love blueberries, Daniel began making homemade blueberry freezer jam a few months ago and it is awesome. I throw some in my morning greek yogurt to boot.

Bread-wise we love the multi-grain Blues Bread from Dave’s Killer Bread. Bread really isn’t that hard to make, particularly if you have a bread machine, so for the past 6 weeks I’ve been experimenting with a multigrain bread recipe. Every few days poor Daniel has to suffer the smells of freshly baked bread wafting through the house. The original recipe got rave reviews and many people have had success with it, but not I. The first loaves were too dense. They rose, but not much. After many iterations I’ve almost mastered the recipe and within 2 hours we can go from raw ingredients to a warm loaf of bread. I continue to refine my recipe to incorporate more whole wheat flour, but so far so good.

That brings us to chai tea. I really enjoy the chai tea lattes from Starbucks, but it’s really hard to justify spending the money when you’re on an unpaid sabbatical. So I started buying liquid chai tea from the grocery store and just adding it to almond milk in the mornings. But chai tea isn’t (or shouldn’t) be that hard to make — it’s a mix of black tea and spices. So yesterday I started venturing into making my own chai tea. Yesterday’s recipe was not a success. Today’s was better and I’ll be iterating over it for a few days.

It’s comical to me that none of this stuff is hard to make — nor all that time consuming — and it’s taken a sabbatical for me to slow down enough to enjoy the process.

1 Well, at least I have PB&J sandwiches. Daniel eats sunbutter and jelly sandwiches from homemade sunbutter (which is just sunflower seeds beaten to smithereens in the food processor).

Blueberry freezer jam

I love blueberries. And living in the Pacific Northwest we have tons of locally grown delicious blueberries readily available. Several months ago Daniel worked some magic in the kitchen and came up with this tasty freezer jam recipe:

Blueberry freezer jam

  • 1 lb blueberries (~2.5c), these can be fresh or frozen
  • 2T red wine
  • 2T honey
  • 1T lemon juice

Combine all ingredients into a 2 quart sauce pan and bring to a simmer, stirring regularly. Use a potato masher (or a fork) to squish the blueberries as they warm (warning: this can get a bit squirty!). Continue to simmer and stir until you have the right consistency1. Remove from the heat and let cool, then put into jars and put the jars into the freezer. Pull them out into the fridge as you need them.

1 What’s the right consistency you ask? That’s a bit of a challenge as the jam will solidify further as it cools. When we think it’s done, we take a small spoon full and place in a small glass bowl in the fridge to cool it down and check on its consistency. You’re mostly looking for something you can spread on bread, mix into yogurt, etc.