the true secret of jam – and the city market

a month or so ago, once i had gotten into the swing of things for jam season 2009, i realized the fundamental truth of jam, the basic self-evident conceptual unit of it all. i think i had discovered it last season but forgotten over the cold winter months, and anyone who produces enough jam, perhaps 800 or 1000 jars in a stretch, will most likely come to the same conclusion. i will attempt to explain this below:

humans project patterns onto random events in pursuit of an illusion of control. the recent discussion of celebrity deaths, how they “always” come in threes, reminds me of this human tendency. such assertions have as much validity as voluntary response polls, since coincidental causal relationships are invulnerable to conflicting data, and only supporting evidence is included. it is another facet of this same conceptual battle to frame unfamiliar concepts within conventional constraints that leads us to habitually anthropomorphize anything we encounter. this sort of behavior is very human and not necessarily wrong, though it is hypocritical, but that quality is the most human of all.

the secret of jam requires a slight acceptance of the jam’s own intentionality, and an attribution of some very human qualities. it does not want to be overcooked, you know, so it will tell you when it is almost done by hissing and popping popping very loudly. once it starts “talking” to you in this way, audibly, the jam is telling you that its time to get your jars, lids, funnel & ladle from their boiling water bath. once the jam is really finished, it will start to leap out of the pan and burn you. little flecks will begin to appear on the walls, ceiling, your clothing, and any exposed patches of flesh. i’ve been burned many times on my hands and arms, as would be expected, and occasionally i lean to close at this stage and burn my face. once the jam is leaping out of the pan and burning the jam maker, it’s obvious that the jam is finished, which is the beautiful simplistic secret truth of jam. it will tell you when it is almost done and it will remind you when it is completely ready, with excruciating pain if necessary. what could be easier?

i’ll be at the market very soon in spot 58, next to maggie the pottery lady, across the aisle from megan & rob at roundabout farm and partway down toward curtis the dahlia man.

here’s an approximate flavor list:

blueberry + lemon
rhubarb + lime
rhubarb + ginger
raspberry + rhubarb
raspberry rhubarb + ginger
strawberry rhubarb
strawberry rhubarb + ginger
cherry rhubarb + lime
peach + strawberry
yellow peach
peach + raspberry
peach + everything (1 batch of peach jam + the leftover samples for all of the flavors that have passed; strawberry, cherry, rhubarb, blueberry, raspberry, lavender, thai basl, ginger, lemon, lime, etc.)

see you there!

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 4th, 2009 at 5:39 am and is filed under new jam flavors, ruminations, where to buy jam. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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