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Make the taste of summer last a little longer

Tomato jam is a condiment that captures the taste of summer. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)
Recipe: This tomato jam is a versatile relish, on or off the sandwich

Looking for a way to make summer last a little longer?

This recipe won’t add days to August, but it will extend the flavors of summer into fall and winter meals.

This relish is sweet, a little hot and very tomato. Served alongside chops or atop a burger, it will bring back memories of summer long after the last fresh tomato is picked.

Jamie Sandberg, my sister, has been making this tomato jam as an all-purpose relish for several years. The original recipe came from Charles and Rachel Kelsey, who own Cutty’s Sandwiches in Brookline, Mass. It is no ordinary sandwich shop. The Kelseys, both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, met while working at America’s Test Kitchen. Their shop has been featured on the Food Network.

Cutty’s uses its tomato jam to give BLT’s a little more tomato depth before the best tomatoes of summer arrive, or after they’re gone. Delicious on a wide range of sandwiches, this relish also makes a tasty glaze for pork or chicken.

Tomato jam

Makes about 1 ½ cups

Ingredients :

1 ½ pounds meaty tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy, optional
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


Combine all the ingredients in a medium, heavy-bottom, non-reactive saucepan, preferably nonstick. Over medium-high heat, cook until bubbling. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick and syrupy, about 1 hour. (As it nears proper thickness, watch carefully and stir often to prevent scorching.) Remove from heat and cool the jam to room temperature.

Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. This jam also freezes well.

Adapted from Cutty’s


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A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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