Thursday, March 18, 2010

I didn't make it!

I don't know about you, but my spring fever comes on in the form of reorganizing my pantry and eating my way through last year's preserves. This week I've broken into all the odd jars I've gathered from friends along the way. Let's take a moment to celebrate some jams made by hands not my own.

Rhubarb jam from a dear friend in Vermont. Rather than pectin, she uses the long-boil method, and in this case it had set extra hard, into a jewel like candy. No great sacrifice here, I ate it by the forkful!

(By the way, I'm sure she would hasten to mention that she tried to offer me a more successful batch. But I had my heart set on rhubarb, which is one of the few things that doesn't thrive in California. My dad used to make strawberry rhubarb sauce every year out of our backyard, where it grew like a weed.)

I didn't get any blackberries of my own last year, so I'm treasuring this small jar, mostly in PB&Js on homemade bread. (Again, don't look at me! Inder's the only breadmaker in this household!) Part of my haul from the "Yes, We Can" canning exchange at the Eat Real fest. I traded jars with some lovely kindred souls whose idea of a good night out on the town involved sitting on hay bales in Jack London Square conversing about jam. This was made by Stefani of the Alameda Fruit Exchange, if I recall correctly.

This year I'd love to try your jam, yes yours!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wanted: marmalade lovers!

By the Spoonful presents
MARMALADE: An open house
Saturday, March 20th 3-6 pm
my house

Come one, come all! Drop by to sample at least 3 varieties and give me some feedback so that I can perfect my recipes. I'll provide tea and snacks. Plus, one lucky taster will win a free jamshare subscription! Let's kick off the first day of spring in citrus style.

(Find my address and RSVP on Facebook)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What's in this spring? Jamshares!

Sign up for jamshares - Spring 2010 quarter!
April, May, and June will feature marmalade, kiwi, and the start of the strawberry season. This quarter I'll only be offering subscriptions at the 1 and 2 jar levels. Details and ordering here.

A huge thank you goes out to my fabulous BtS jamshare subscribers! I hope you've had as much fun as I've had over the past 6 months.

You've inspired me to make small batches more often and to experiment with new recipes. So far I've been able to provide a round dozen flavors, many of them jamshare exclusives! Which is your favorite?
Strawberry • Strawberry Lavender • Raspberry • Fig Cardamom • Nectarine • Ginger Loquat • Cranberry • Kiwi Lime • Apple Butter • Pear Butter • Blood Orange Marmalade • Pucker Orange Marmalade

You've helped connect me with the organic farmers that supply my fruit. Every time I research my monthly Farm Focus feature, I learn something new. Behold the power of google!

Just this week I discovered that Blossom Bluff Orchards (Parlier) is run by fourth generation family farmers who grow over 170 varieties of fruit. Plus, you can find them on facebook! (I hope they don't mind me borrowing the photo above, which they posted in January as "the first peach blossom of the season.")

Did you know...
Kaki Farm (Gridley) specializes in persimmons, and takes its name from the Japanese word for that fruit?
Four Sisters Farm (Aromas) ripens their kiwifruit in small batches using the natural ethylene gas from their storage apples?
Swanton Berry Farm (Davenport) was the first organic farm in America to unionize?
The owner of Guru Ram Das Orchards (Esparto) supplies Chez Panisse and gets an adrenaline rush from his trees?