Marsha spent last evening sweating atop the stove making jars of Strawberry-Rhubarb, Strawberry-Basil, Raspberry-Cherry, Raspberry, and Cherry jam. While it was 90+ degrees outside yesterday, it was even hotter in that kitchen with large bowls of syrups violently bubbling like witches brews. Though Marsha doesn’t mind, “It’s gonna be hot, but at least I won’t be in the sun,” she said after announcing her decision to make jam that day.
Marsha began experimenting with different kinds of jam two winters ago. Straying from the familiar path of Raspberry-Blueberry, Strawberry-Rhubarb, Apple Butter, and Apricot, to create new flavors that made the spreads taste like a gourmet treat. I remember receiving UPS deliveries of cases of new varieties out at school. A dollop of Pear-Rosemary jam in yogurt for breakfast was enough to make me forget I was in college with student loan debt and little money to my name. I was living like kings and queens, or at least in that moment in time eating just as well as, if not better than, the well paid professors who taught my courses. Soon the cupboards of my suite kitchen were filled with more jars of Peach Marmalade, Blueberry-Lime, Strawberry-Basil, and Peach-Vanilla than my suite-mates and I could keep up with, so I began bartering my jam jars for services. You fix bikes? Well how bout a jar of Honeydew-Lime to loosen the brakes, and I’ll throw in a Grapefruit Smoked-Salt if you replace the front tire. Doing laundary? I’m all out of quarters, but I can give you a jar of Strawberry-Balsamic-Jalapeno if you pay for three loads. Who knew jam was such great college currency?
We will have the new jam flavors available at the Annandale Farmers Market this Saturday, along with freshly picked raspberries, salad greens, flower bouquets, scones, and popping corn. See you there!