the jam rides again

well, now that i’m into week 2 of jam 2010, i can safely say that after such a wet winter and a warm spring, even with the late frosts, it looks like a great time to be jamming in central virginia. strawberries came in early, their bounty is formidable and increasing, and we can only hope that they won’t be fried by hot weather before the end of may.

strawberries are exciting, now, but i’m much more enthusiastic about what’s to come. late frosts damaged the stone fruit trees in the spring of 09, and ’08 (when there was a hail storm too), which peaches weathered well, but plum trees suffered a reduced yield and most apricots didn’t yield at all. thanks to the mild spring, we’re going to be overwhelmed by plums and apricots in late june and july, which i’m really looking forward too. plums are a fabulous fruit for jam, as the sweet flesh dissolves and takes on the bright flavor of the sour skin, but nothing compares to apricots. the texture, just a little bit thicker than plum, lets the deep sweetness of the fruit drape over a subtle sourness, cloaking the bright spark of acidity in a luxuriously soft, almost narcotic sweetness. needless to say, i’m pretty excited for that. i’ve used imported california apricots for jam in the past (before i went into business for myself), but found them to be mealy and tasteless; also it was disconcerting when the skins turned brown in the jam. thankfully, local apricots do not have these problems, which is why i’m so excited.

i will be back at the market this saturday, with the same flavors as last week with a few additions: strawberry thyme and rhubarb ginger (and anything else i can think of).

i’m back at work with my all-star team of jam commandos, and i’m looking for new talent. i’ll post a full description later, but suffice it to say that i’m looking for a new apprentice jam maker or two, for part-time (with full-time potential), through the end of jam season (sometime in september or october). obviously, i’m looking for someone who has an interest in jam and local food systems, and maybe even some experience in the kitchen. everything is negotiable except for the part about loving jam.

potential applicants should email me immediately at if they don’t want to wait for the full jam apprentice job posting.

now back to the jam: i’ll be at my permanent spot, on the hill, next to the taco stand, with many flavors, but be forewarned: last saturday i arrived with 7 flavors, and had sold out of 4 by 10:30. the remaining 3 flavors (plain strawberry, strawberry rhubarb, and strawberry chocolate mint) are among my most popular, so i made the most jars of these flavors, and in turn sold the most, but if you’re in search of variety and want to exercise your freedom of choice, get up early and come on down for some jam.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 6th, 2010 at 8:37 pm and is filed under new jam flavors, picking fruit. 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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