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!
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!
This blog post is as much a request as it is instructional, or inspirational. I want to see how you enjoy my jams! When you reach for a jar, what else is cooking? Is there toast in the toaster? Or pancake batter waiting next to a hot skillet? My mom, as I know I've mentioned, can't get enough of stirring my jam (lately the Italian Prune Plum has been a favorite) into her favorite, ultra-tangy Straus Family Creamery yogurt. I am a sucker for salty things, so I like salted butter on crunchy baguette, with a good slather of jam (as pictured above). And anyone who's paying attention knows of my deep weakness for all things peanut butter and jam—but who can blame me, really? PB&J is my husband's favorite, too. What I want is for you to show me how YOU jam! When I pack jars and send them off to you lovely jam lovers, in your various corners of the world, I always wonder how they wind up being enjoyed. Email me, or share a photo and tag me on Instagram or Facebook with @plumtreejam or #plumtreejam—I can't wait to see!
Yours in jam,
Hello jam lovers!
I've been a bit delinquent in my post-frequency this summer, and I'm sorry about that. The good news is that it's because I've been a busy bee in the jam kitchen! Plump Chester blackberries, buckets of elderberries, and jewel-like red currants have been keeping me very busy, not to mention the insanity of the plum season here in Portland this year, which has been extreme! Wonderful flavors have arrived in the shop as a result of this madness—hello Chesterberry Jam! Hello Italian Prune Plum Jam!—and more to come yet. Watch for Elderberry Jam and Red Currant-Raspberry Jam coming soon.
Thank you for staying tuned to my sweet & jammy corner of the internet. If you want to be super up-to-speed, the best thing to do is to join my newsletter (sign up HERE). I don't send them often (once a month, at most), so it's not a nuisance, I promise!
HAPPY DANCE! BERRIES ARE BACK! HAPPY DANCE! BERRIES ARE BACK!
Thanks for waiting, all you wonderful jam lovers!
A picture is worth a thousand smells/tastes/words. They taste even better than they look, and I got my hands on a bunch of 'em. They're the first treasures of summer in Oregon, and I have jammed them—perfectly preserved for year round savoring. Just a little sugar, a little lemon, and these jewels. It's explosive. Hood Strawberry Jam—get it while I've got it!
Happy summertime, jam lovers!
The rumors are true! Plum Tree Jam is featured in the May 2015 issue of the one and only Food & Wine Magazine! We can hardly believe it ourselves!
YAHOO! KITCHEN DANCE PARTY! KITCHEN DANCE PARTY!
Phew! You can check out the blurb over on our brand new Press page. Big big thanks to the lovely people at F & W—we're honored and so excited. Now, back to the jam kitchen. The rhubarb is calling....
Wishing you all a wonderful week!