Thursday, June 25, 2009

We're Jamming...

You'd think, working in a place full of fruit, jam, and pastries, my first priority on my day off would not be making bread and jam. But it is! I could spend the day trying to find my mysteriously-disappeared cell phone, but I've done what I could, and short of a little more desultory searching, I don't think there's much more I can do to bring it back from Buenos Aires or wherever it's decided to go junketing. So instead: apricot jam!

This is a special windfall batch of jam, courtesy of the Free Farmstand. Tree and pals gleaned over 400 lbs of beautiful Blenheims from an old orchard up in Davis. They brought back the bounty to the city, where the promise of fruit (and the beautiful Sunday afternoon) resulted in an actual line snaking back from the table--something I'd never seen before. The offerings on the table were mostly mixed-up greens (including some very nice bunches of orach, aka mountain spinach) and bunches of herbs...the greens (including the radish greens from the Star Route Farms French breakfast radishes for which I'd traded a few super-ripe candy-cot apricots the day before) made an excellent mess sauteed with young garlic and a little soy sauce and sesame oil over brown rice.

But mostly it was all about the fruit, and along with a couple of other intrepid jam makers I scored a whole flat of very ripe Blenheims to take home for jamming. Ten pounds of free fruit, gathered with love and generous intent, plus a few knobbly lemons from someone's backyard.

Right now, batch #2 is simmering on the stove, along with a pot of black-bean soup, and the dough for whole-wheat oatmeal is rising on the table. After a cold, cold start, it's a lovely sunny day out there, and the first flower has opened on the Royal Chocolate salpiglossis, living up to its name.