I’ve lived other kinds of lives, other than selling jam, and the benefit of jam selling is that I’m no longer sitting at a desk listening to an unhappy person on the other side. Instead, the people who surround me at the markets are fun, usually happy, and interesting. On Saturday, I’m making my pre-opening rounds at the Issaquah Market, and talking to the folks at 1st Fruit. They’ve got a big stand, nice peaches and beautiful apricots. They’re pretty out-front Christians, with a white board that offers prayers if you need them and a bible out for a little light reading. Local, for the Northwest, which means they’re from Wenatchee, only 100 miles and a mountain range away. I buy ten pounds of apricots, and move on in search of berries.
Later, I’m packing up, the market over, and up walks Mr. 1st Fruit, and drops a 40 pound box of apricots on the ground, says “Merry Christmas” and walks away. I’m blown away and a little overwhelmed. I was hoping to take Sunday off, but instead I’m hard at work in the kitchen, working with apricots. I’ve mentioned before that I think apricots are the best fruit for jam, good combination of acid, flavor and sweetness and I made a lot –-
So for you lucky shoppers this week I’ll have apricot jam, apricot jam with orange (somewhat like marmalade), apricot jam with almonds, and Apricot jam with vanilla beans. That only got me ½ way through the 40 pounds of apricots so I took the rest to the mission for the homeless and hungry, continuing the Christian theme. If I hadn’t made so much apricot, I would be bragging in this space about the Loganberry score, which also made nice jam, but required seeding. (Christine, from the Grand Central Bakery, says she won’t eat Loganberry, because she once had a boyfriend named Logan with apparently unpleasant memories. I say she should just change his name to “jerk” and eat the jam. )