In a Jam

We had a guest pop by to spend the night. He had an early flight to catch, but he took up our offer of a piece of toast as he headed out, only to stop and admire our jar of jam:

Growing Washington's Blackberry -- check out those ingredients!

Growing Washington's Blackberry -- check out those ingredients!

Well might he marvel. Compared to the jar of Hero "Blackberry Premium Fruit Spread" I'd bought in the off-season (on sale at Bartell's), Growing Washington's jam contained only four ingredients, and blackberries were Number One. Hero's listed sugar first, then fruit, and then "wheat syrup." What the heck is wheat syrup? It turns out it's a highly-processed sweetener from wheat starch. So, while the jar could brag it contained no high-fructose corn syrup, it was really only because they'd substituted another processed sweetener. No one has touched the Hero's jar since the real deal appeared.

Maybe you're not a jam-maker. I'm not. Which is why I stocked up on some jams made by a friend from farmers market fruit:

Lynn's apricot, tayberry, and boysenberry

Lynn's apricot, tayberry, and boysenberry

To be honest, her jam is pretty expensive, but I like to support her efforts, and she does offer some varieties I haven't seen at the Market. But not everyone has a Lynn in his or her life, so the next-best option is Market jam. The only catch? Once you start on real jam, it's hard to go back to the storebought stuff.

And if you're a maker of jam, have you seen the fruit coming in?


It's bounty time, people. Berries and cherries and soft fruits galore. Stock up. Stuff your face. Make jam. Make pies. Freeze extras.

I know I write too much about fruit. I promise: more vegetables and other items next week. Maybe. 

In the meantime, I leave you with sweet peas.