How do I get my ideas?


I’m often asked at the market “where do you get your ideas?’.  I’m going to try to ‘splain’ it to you, as this week was typical.

Let’s start with the fact that late winter isn’t a great time to be making jam. The only local fresh fruit available is apples and pears, and I’m pretty well stocked up on those items. Wintertime fruit that I like include tangerines and Meyer lemons, and I just made a lot of tangerine marmalade, and the lemon, while excellent, is expensive and time-consuming.  So two weeks ago, I was out of ideas.

I first decided to make some more Meyer lemon, as some customers had asked for it. (Those pesky customers).  But then I was talking to Jaime of Los Agaves Mexican food  and he went on about how I should make something with tequila. Now I haven’t taken a drink in a generation, but I remember that I disliked tequila, but I started thinking about rum. Pineapple is available, and so my first idea was pineapple with rum. More thinking, and I added vanilla. Looking in a couple of cookbooks, there was a recipe for pina colada jelly, and I’ve got another good idea. So I went and bought a small bottle of Meyer’s Rum. While I was shopping for the pineapple, there was a sale on organic red peppers, so I got a bunch of those as well.  Now I’m also making red pepper jelly.

Finally, I’m putting the peppers away and I notice that I have a quart of pomegranate juice that I got in trade for some jam. I don’t drink much juice, so it’s going to be jelly as well.

The results of my thinking: Meyer Lemon Marmalade, Red Pepper Jelly, Pineapple with Rum and Vanilla Bean, Pina Colada Jelly, Pomegranate Jelly.  And now you know too much about how my mind works.  Next week, chutney from a recipe I stole from Tigress’s blog – kumquat, date and 5 spices.

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