Editor’s Note: Caroline Nath speaks on The Challenges of Raising Multi-Cultural Kids at the our Beijing International School Expo this Sunday (Jan 25) at 10:30am.
Radio personality, Parent Effectiveness Trainer, documentary filmmaker, and – more recently – jam maker, Caroline Nath is a consummate multi-tasker. She’s also a mother-of-two; her daughter Shanti Lu-Nath (age 15) attends the Western Academy of Beijing while her son Omi Lu-Nath (11) goes to the French International School of Beijing.
“My long-term goal is to write a book,” she says, “Basically the story of my multiculturalism. I’m French-Indian. I grew up in the US, France, and India. I’ve been in China for over 25 years and my children’s father is Chinese. When making documentaries, I travel all over China so there are lots of stories that I’ve compiled on the interactions between western and Chinese culture.”
Nath’s jam-making business reflects her vibrant history and myriad influences in both its name, Bon Nani, and its products. “Bon is French for good and nani is a Hindi word for maternal grandmother. My kids call my mom nani,” she says. The jam flavors marry her many inspirations. “I only use fruits that are in season, incorporate Chinese ingredients, make recipes that reflect my background, and mix all three food cultures in my jams,” says Nath. “For example, pear-ginger is based on a Chinese medicinal cold remedy.”
She uses organic produce wherever possible and has modified her recipes to be additive- and sugar-free. She uses citrus rind and fruit seeds to add natural pectin to her jams rather than using chemically-extracted pectin. And although jam usually requires equal quantities of fruit and sugar, Nath has refined her recipes to minimize sugar. “Depending on the fruit combination I make, I’m able to use up to one third of the sugar. However, the jam still lasts as it usually would. Unopened, it lasts for a year. Once opened, it lasts in the fridge for a couple of months.”
Of course, making jam this way consumes more time and energy. “Making jam with chemically-extracted pectin might take only half an hour,” Nath says. “You need to boil the pears and pear seeds for longer to extract the pectin. With this method there are three hours of boiling and stirring.”
For the following recipe, Nath used Chinese pears and fresh rosemary from her container garden. She says the jam’s subtle flavor works equally well as a sauce for roast meat. Combining a sweet fruit and a savory herb might seem unorthodox, but our colleagues were universally enthusiastic in their praise.
Jams can be ordered for delivery or collection in the XingFuCun neigborhood. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for prices, delivery information and pick up address.
Pear and Rosemary Jam 梨和迷迭香果酱
Makes 6-7 jars
3kg washed, peeled, and roughly chopped pears 3公斤洗净，去皮，和切块的梨
1 washed, peeled, and roughly chopped apple 1个洗净，去皮，切块的苹果
Juice of 1½ lemons 1.5个柠檬榨成的柠檬汁
Rind of ½ lemon半个柠檬的果皮
Handful of pear seeds少许梨的种子
1kg sugar 1千克糖
Normally for 3kg of fruit, one lemon should be enough. However, Nath says that Chinese lemons are sometimes not as juicy, which is why her recipe calls for another half lemon. If you are using imported lemons, you may want to use just one.
If you add sugar at the beginning, the jam will be browner because the sugar is more caramelized. If you want a paler color, let the pears boil and add the sugar toward the end when there’s less water.
To check if the jam is set enough before jarring, freeze a spoonful in the freezer, then put jam on the spoon. Let the jam cool to room temperature; if it’s liquid and moves easily, it’s not yet set. Return it to a boil.
For better taste and consistency, refrigerate the jam overnight and re-boil it the following day before decanting into jars.
1. Place the pears and apple in a large, thick-bottomed pot over a high heat. Stir often. 将梨和苹果放在一个大的，厚底的锅里，大火，经常搅拌。
2. Add lemon juice, rind, and pear seeds. 加入柠檬汁，果皮和梨的种子。
3. Stir the fruit periodically to prevent it from sticking and burning. The pears will release a lot of water; allow most of it to boil away before adding the sugar and rosemary.
4. Once the fruit is soft, use a hand blender to even out the jam.
5. Taste the jam to check if it’s set. 尝尝看果酱的味道是否合口。
6. Sterilize your jars and lids in the oven at 150°C for 10 minutes. Make sure the jars and the jam are boiling hot when you begin the jarring process.
7. Fill the jars with jam, leaving a 2-3cm gap at the top. Close the jars while they are still hot. As the jam cools, the trapped hot air will contract, creating a vacuum and sealing the lid tight.
This article originally appeared on p28-29 in the January 2015 issue of beijingkids. To view it online for free, click here. To find out how you can obtain your own copy, email email@example.com