So when the late, great Bob Marley sang “Jamm’in”, was he singing about “Strawberry Mint”, “Blueberry Thyme” or “Apricot with Tarragon and Riesling”? Well, we may never know, but we do know that he was so inspired by jam making, that he wrote a whole song about it! And so today, my jammy inspiration leads me to write a blog post about a summer activity that I have just discovered – jam making. I can’t understand why I have never learned to make jam until this very summer. All the women in my family have spent the summer months “jamm’in”, but not me. Maybe it has just been too easy to lay my hands on wonderful homemade preserves, but it never occurred to me that making them could be fun, and creative…. Enter the most mind-blowing book about jams that inspired me to get busy this summer.
“The Preservatory”, by Lee Murphy, owner of Vista D’Oro Farms and Winery in Langley, B.C., has been my constant muse this summer. Since I first acquired it, I have been possessed by her creative spins on traditional jam recipes. I can’t stop thinking about what to make next! My garden is brimming with mint, so “Strawberry Mint Preserves” seemed like the natural place to start. Lee’s instructions were thorough, and easy to follow, even for a newbie. My first batch was such a success, that I moved on to “Rhubarb with Orange and Ginger”, following a very large gift of rhubarb from a friend. Next came “Raspberry with Merlot and Pink Peppercorn”, when my neighbour dropped off a huge box of raspberries! A friend declared it the best jam he had ever eaten. Well, now that is a compliment, considering I had only been making jam for a few weeks! And so I find myself excited to make my way through the whole book. But what to do with all that jam? Well, aside from Christmas gifts (yes friends, you are all getting jam for Christmas), I will still have so much left over.
Thankfully, Lee Murphy has provided a solution to that small problem. The first section of the book contains a vast array of delicious jam concoctions made with the fruit from each season. And, the next section is chock full of mouth-watering recipes that use the various preserves. Nope, your jars are not going to languish on your pantry shelves until they expire. You are going to wow your family and friends with such dishes as,”Duck Rillettes with Chive Cakes”, using Ranier Cherry and Kirsch Preserves, or “Coconut Curry Braised Chicken” using Indian-Spiced Green Tomato Jam. That doesn’t juice you? Well why not try a “Pizzam”? This is a gorgeous pizza made with, preserves and cheeses. Lee even provides a whole list of combos to help you create your very own Pizzam party! Do you see why I am obsessed with this book? Every time I turn a page I discover something new that I can do with the streams of conserves that are happily issuing forth from my kitchen! Ok folks, if I haven’t implied it already, this is a jam-making cookbook that you must have in your kitchen! (Nobody is paying me in any way to write this post.) I am just so excited about my newfound skills that I want to share this book with you. It is perfect for the absolute beginner (like me), and for the expert jam makers, as it inspires with brilliant, creative new recipes and delicious uses for them.
I will be bringing this book over to Fiesta Friday this week, where I have the great pleasure of co-hosting once again. This week I am joined by Debanita of Canvassed Recipes. Be sure to check out her lovely blog to ogle some delicious posts! I do hope that you will come and join us at Fiesta Friday, as it is a great place to check out the creativity of your fellow foodies. If you have never posted anything to Angie’s party-place, why not give it a try? It is easy and fun and there are only a few guidelines to follow here. See you at the party, and be sure to get jamm’in before the summer slips away.