That's me! Miranda, the jam-maker, packer,
shipper and berry-picker.
It started with a bumper crop. One summer, in late August, the plum tree in my mother's backyard gave more fruit then we knew what to do with! We popped as many plums as we could—they're tiny, tart and bursting with juice—but we just couldn't keep up. Baskets and baskets crowded the kitchen, every inch of counter space was covered. I was working at a chocolate shop at the time, learning the art and craft of chocolatier-ing from my friend (and chocolate genius) Elizabeth Montes, and so I was feeling pretty culinarily ambitious. It occured to me—why not try my hand at making jam? And so that's precisely what I did!
Turns out, making jam is a lot of fun. And people really like to eat it. And it makes great gifts. I couldn't stop! In winter, I made Meyer lemon marmalade. In early spring, rhubarb simmered in the jamming pots. And then came summer, and summer in Oregon means BERRIES. Glorious, sweet, deep, dark baubles of liquid sunshine, I jammed and jammed. Eventually, I started selling it to a friend to serve at his restaurant under the name of Miranda's Jam and it even garnered a bit of a following!
Then, in 2009 I moved to NYC to pursue a masters degree food & culture at NYU and jam moved to the back burner (haha cooking jokes) for a few years.
BUT! Since moving back to Portland in 2013, jam-making is back and better than ever. I focus on the incredible berry-bounty that we enjoy here in Oregon—in particular the berries that are a bit unusual here and nearly impossibly to find elsewhere. These berries burst with summer sunshine, all the more precious here in the land of seemingly endless rain. Anticipation mounts through the drizzle of winter and our reward is brief but so juicy sweet. I hope my jams preserve that transitory joy for savoring year round.
To let the pure berry flavors speak up for themselves, I make my jams with just berries, cane sugar and a bit of lemon juice. Because I don't use pectin, the jam has a super spreadable, somewhat soft-set consistency that I find to be a lot more fun to eat (and that makes for a particularly killer, oozy-gooey PB&J). I also find that the flavor of the berry is stronger and more concentrated this way. There is about half a pound of fruit in each and every jar, simmered slowly into jammy perfection.
I have been working on Plum Tree Jam for a long time, and I'm thrilled to bring it to you! I hope that my jams are your jam! Happy eating!
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