I am very sad to say that Plum Tree Jam won’t be popping up at Portland-area farmers markets anymore—or at least for the moment. The markets have been a wonderful, inspiring, renewing constant for us for a few years now—rain or snow or 100-degree days, we were out there with the best of 'em—but they just don’t make financial sense for Plum Tree Jam. And yes—as you might imagine—the catalyst for this realization was the birth of my sweet son last December. The markets were a break-even endeavor for me, but they were a wonderful way to be part of the local food community and to meet so many Portlanders who care about good, local food and supporting local agriculture. However, now that I have to juggle the demands of Motherhood—and the tug on the heartstrings that I feel every moment that I am away from my baby—along with Plum Tree, I feel that every working moment must really, really count. To stay in business and keep making the very best, handmade, pectin-free jams I can, and to continue to buy fruit that I believe in from people I (and you, too, I know!) admire, means that I have to make enough money to stay afloat. It's just the cold, hard truth and it's been a hard realization to swallow. It was with a heavy heart that I parted ways with my booth at the Hollywood Farmers Market, and my beloved King Neighborhood Farmers Market. I hope that my market friends and customers will understand. Local Portland people can always order via my website shop, and I am often happy to make deliveries. We will also continue to pop up at larger local events like the Portland Night Market, Craft Wonderland, and the like. Following us on Instagram is the best way to stay in the loop. You can also find our jams all over town at delectable shops like Tender Loving Empire, Made Here PDX, Alder & Co, and Elephants Deli.
Please continue to shop at these wonderful markets, and we will see you there as a fellow shopper!
Meet our new gift boxes
! Tied up with a shiny red bow, they contain 3 2-ounce jars (a selection of our most popular berry jams, from Tay and Loganberry to Raspberry-Rhubarb and Olallie). Also exceedingly festive, our Spiced Cranberry jam
got a minor facelift this year thanks to the addition of Bluebird Alpine Liqueur from our friends at Thomas & Sons Distillery. Plus all the lovely berry jams are in good supply (for now!) and don't forget, we're happy to include a gift note in any order, just let us know what you'd like it to say at check out.
In the spirit of the season, rather than offering holiday discounts, we will be donating 10% of sales (now through December 25th) to FoodCorps
, a national organization that connects kids to healthy food in high-needs schools via hands on cooking classes, school gardens, and healthy cafeteria meals so they can lead healthier lives and reach their full potential. We think they’re doing great work, and it’s an honor to give back in a way that extends beyond just our participation in our local food system. We hope you will agree!
For a festive holiday cocktail! Our friends at Bull in China
, a cocktail supply shop here in Portland, created a couple of seasonal drinks built around our Spiced Cranberry Jam
! Get yourself a jar & get mixing!The New Tradition
1 heaping barspoon Spiced Cranberry Jam
1 oz. Old Tom gin
1/2 oz. East India sherry
1/2 oz. orange curacao
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. Grade B maple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 10 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a sprig of rosemary, if you’d like. Enjoy!
Bog Alley Sour (created by Bull in China for the Starvation Alley Bog Social)
2 oz bourbon
.50 oz lemon
.25 oz Grade B maple syrup
1 heavy bar spoon Plum Tree Jam Spiced Cranberry jam
Add all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker tin. Shake for 15 seconds and double strain into a coupe or a rocks glass. This drink is also delicious in a collins glass (with ice!) topped with sparkling wine or a dry sparkling cider.
I really hope there are other quince obsessives out there. I realize that as I dreamt up this recipe and tinkered in the kitchen, I was laboring under the assumption that there are. Worst case scenario maybe I just eat it all myself, and that's really something that I couldn't complain about. BUT! For now, let's assume that you exist, fellow quince maniacs. So, what is this new "Rosy Quince" preserve that has appeared this autumn in the Plum Tree shop? Read on!
Supposedly, it wasn't an apple that tempted Eve in the garden of Eden, it was much more likely a quince, as apples were unknown in the ancient world. Likewise, the golden apple that Paris gave to Aphrodite as her prize in the beauty contest that kicked off the Trojan War was probably a quince too! The fruit that launched a thousand ships. I had to capture THAT. Years of experimentation with ways to preserve it that reflect it at its fragrant peak had, until this year, yielded only disappointment. In creating this blushing preserve, I set out to capture not the quince fruit itself, but something much more elusive: its intoxicating fragrance. The knobby yellow creature’s romantic, floral, fruity perfume is a scent not quickly forgotten. It is also a scent that seems to easily dissipate with the application of sugar and heat that is necessary if you plan to eat (and enjoy) quince. Finally this year, I whipped something up that gave me—a Lifelong Obsessive Autumn Quince Sniffer—a shiver in the best way. Local quince, rose water, orange blossom water and an absolutely fantastic Quince liqueur made by our friends at Stone Barn Brandyworks. Lovers of the world—of quince and otherwise—this rosy preserve is for you.
Yes it’s true, our prices have gone up a smidgen. The mission of Plum Tree Jam is to be a part of the food system not as it is, but as it could be. As it should be. To be a part of a new food system in America—one that celebrates quality, locality, one that is built on the understanding of the real costs of good food, one that enables farmers to grow great food and earn a fair living doing so. We wanted to do all of these things and make our jams accessible to as many people as possible, and we still do. We’ve realized that in order to do all of these things—in order to continue to support local agriculture by purchasing incredible fruit grown by our wonderful Oregon farmers, and to continue to make the jam in careful, small batches without pectin, all of which takes time and, yes, money—we have to charge a bit more. A dollar or two, not too much. But just enough. Thank you for understanding! We promise to keep making preserving Oregon’s incredible bounty and supporting our local good, slow food system, one jar at a time.
In other news, Spiced Cranberry Jam is back & better then ever featuring a new discovery—local Bluebird Alpine Liqueur from our friends at Thomas & Sons Distillery. More wintery flavors are coming soon, so stay tuned!
Thank you all!
Miranda & the Plum Tree Jam family
Thank you jam lovers, new and old, for an incredible 2016 berry season! With summer winding down and the farmers markets returning to a calmer sort of state—and some even closing down for the year—the time is right for a bit of a getaway. Actually, it's a family reunion AND a vacation, all rolled into one. In Italy, no less! We'll be in the Tuscan countryside for a bit, and we'll end with a few glorious days in the Eternal City. We hope to return re-charged and newly inspired—perhaps you'll even see our travels influence in new jams in the coming months! Because of this great adventure we feel so lucky to embark on, orders placed after Sept. 15th will not be filled until (but will be filled by) October 1st.
We apologize for any inconvenience and we wish you all a lovely autumn!
Ciao, jam lovers! Adventure calls!
New label, same jam! We want to assure you first and foremost that our jam is the same as ever—only the packaging is new. It's still just one lady, in the kitchen, with local fruit from small farms, the same recipe, tiny batches and zero pectin. We've been working quietly on this rebranding project for four months, and we're thrilled to share with you at last the fruits of our labors. Working with local Portland illustrator Sheri Smith, we created a new label that we hope reflects the jam and our little company in a bold and inviting way. It was a labor of love and we're so excited about the result. Along with the rebrand comes some pricing changes—we've actually been able to lower our prices a bit, as you can see in our SHOP. Lastly, the jars have gotten a bit bigger. We found a wonderful local jar supplier and we're so happy about the new look. We hope you are, too!
Miranda & the PTJ family
Our friends at Bull in China—a Portland-based cocktail supply company specializing in locally made, and otherwise innovative barwares—had a bit of fun with our seasonal Spiced Cranberry Jam. Inspired by the flavors of the holidays, they created this crazy-delicious drink. Have a tray full of these lovelies at the ready for when the doorbell rings, and the hungering masses will discover the most elusive of all virtues: patience. Or, sip one while the turkey finishes roasting—even before your guest show up—and we at least promise that your family will drive you 75% less crazy this Thanksgiving.
created by Daniel Osborne of Bull in China
1 teaspoon Spiced Cranberry Jam
1 oz. Old Tom gin (we like Ransom, because we love all things Oregon)
1/2 oz. cream sherry
1/2 oz. orange curacao
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. grade B maple syrup
How-to: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake hard for 30 seconds. Strain into a glass over ice (or a big ice cube). Garnish with a spring of rosemary and drink up!
Big thanks to Julia Raymond for the photo!
Can you believe it's November already? Here in the Pacific Northwest, we're getting a decidedly autumnal dose of (much needed) heavy rain and cool weather, and my mind is turning towards the cozy holidays that await us as we head into winter. A few things to know! If you'd like to include our Spiced Cranberry Jam in your Thanksgiving celebrations—as a hostess gift, or as part of your family's spread—please be sure to order your jars no later than Tuesday, November 17th so that we can be sure your jars get to you in plenty of time.
In other news, we've started to think about decorating for the season, and all orders through the holiday season will be accompanied by a cheery note of silver ink on scarlet cardstock, as pictured here with some generic sample text. Always feel free to request the inclusion of a gift note with your order—we are honored to be a part of your holiday celebrations! Watch for special holiday deals coming at you right after Thanksgiving. Sign up HERE for our newsletter to be the first to get the news!
It's Friday, which means it's time to think about what you'll be sipping when 5pm rolls around! Is there any happier thought? Our very good friends at Portland's newest and super coolest barwares shop Bull in China, asked to play around with some of our jam in their cocktailing work and, well, it was a no-brainer. We sent them a jar of our cardamom-and-cinnamon spiced Italian Prune Plum jam, which seemed like a just the thing for a mid-autumn cocktail. Bull in China partner and bartender extraordinaire Daniel Osborne whipped up this gorgeous tipple, called the "Speaking Terms", and our new favorite post-work beverage was born. Warming Irish whiskey and spicy Benedictine pair with the prune plum jam just like a dream. Check out all of their super chic barwares on their website here, and shake up one of these tonight!
1.5 ounces Jameson
.5 ounces Dolin Blanc
.5 ounces Benedictine
.5 ounces lemon juice
.25 ounces honey syrup
1/2 an egg white
1 bar spoon Italian Prune Plum jam
Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker without ice, and shake hard for 20 seconds. Add ice and shake to chill. Strain into a coupe and drink up!
Happy Friday, jam lovers!
Miranda & the whole Plum Tree Jam family