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
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!
Spring came very early here in Oregon (apologies to pretty much everyone else in the country) and I'm not complaining. But it happened, like, freakishly early. All of a sudden it was 65 and there were cherry blossoms in mid-February. It was beautiful but strange, and now it's been warm for a month and the cherry blossoms have been in bloom so long that they've started to snow their petals down all over the streets. And here I am thinking WHERE IS THE RHUBARB?? It's warm. It's spring. It's been spring for ages right? Fellow rhubarb lovers: I know you're out there because many of you responded to my last newsletter with inspiring enthusiasm at my mention of rhubarb jam being right around the corner. I want you to know that it truly is near! But not yet. Maybe in two weeks (ugh that sounds so far away!). There's no rushing perfection, I suppose.
All of this is to say, that I am watching and waiting over here, folks. And as soon as the rhubarb comes in, it'll be in my jam pots—as always with just a delicate dusting of sugar and nothing else—and for sale right here! Watch your inboxes, and if you haven't already, sign up for my newsletter (scroll to the bottom of the page here) to get first dibs on those precious jars.
And until then, we wait.
It's true! I am a completely crazy person and launched this wonderful, growing baby of a company just a few months into planning my wedding. And now, the big day is here! I wish I could make jam AND get married all at the same time, but even I am not quite superpowerful enough to do that. So, my dear jam-lovers, I am going to go a bit silent for the next two weeks (you'll have me back by Valentine's Day) while I get myself good and wedded to my lovely fiancé (plus a honeymoon for good measure). Yay! Drink some champagne for me if you can, where ever you may be, and I will be back before you know it. Spring is near, and with it will come a host of new flavors and exciting news! So, pop that bubbly—I certainly plan to—and I'll see you on the other side!
I'd like to tell you all about the Good Food Awards 2015, but they were 100% killer and I am 100% exhausted. The big news is that I WON!! And of course, as usual, by "I" I mean we! The award is really shared with farmers who grow these incredible berries that make my jam what it is, my mother, who has been a lifelong supporter of my dreams and flights of fancy, my dad, who is thrilled to find that he's not the only small businessperson in the family after all, and my fiancé David, who has been a longtime supporter of me and who has very kindly (and much to my delight) signed up to become a lifelong supporter.
I was awarded this amazingly large and self-defense-worthy medal (see above) for my Tayberry Jam—the first jam I made after becoming an official jam maker (as opposed to an enthusiastic hobbyist). It was a huge honor, particularly when I looked up and down the line of my fellow "Preserves" category winners and saw nothing but incredible people. Alice Waters herself placed it around my neck and I basically can die now.
But seriously, the awards ceremony was such a pure pleasure to just be at. The thoughtful, inimitable Mark Bittman gave an inspiring (and inspired) opening address on the idea of good food—the kind that the Good Food Awards celebrates—as protest. As revolution! He spoke to the food system in this country and to its brokenness, and reminded me why I am doing what I am doing. He talked about supporting farmers, and paying fair prices. Respecting food and its provenance—producing incredibly delicious food in a responsible way, food that people can trust, and in doing so cultivating a culture that reveres good food. Sometimes, alone in the kitchen at the end of a long day over the hot jam pots, it is easy to forget—if momentarily—why I am doing this. Mark Bittman reminded me. I could not wait to get back in the jam kitchen!
A lot of fellow Portland people were there to accept awards, which was a thrill, too! The wonderful David Briggs of Xocolatl de David was there to accept for his (deliciously Crunch-bar-like) Sourdough & Olive Oil bar. The Olympic Provisions guys—who, incidentally are doing my wedding rehearsal dinner in just about 2 weeks!—were there to accept an award for their Salami Etna. They graced us with a little GFA-themed song, which was exactly what we needed well into hour #2 of speeches and not a drop of alcohol in sight. Catch a look & a listen here. In that teeny part that cuts out he's singing "Good Food, good friends, let's fight the good fight 'til the end." I mean, come on—inspiring stuff! Seriously, how am I lucky enough to be amongst these shiny, passionate, heart-driven people?
Sitting next with my fellow preserves winners was a treat, too. I got to talk with Lemon Bird Preserves (as well as her adorable parents, who are adorable) whose pickles & preserves I have loved since my days at Mouth.com (her pickled cocktail tomatoes are unreal), and I also got to chat with the very lovely Dafna from bay area-based INNA jam, who is sort of a small batch jam mogul as far as I'm concerned. Also, she makes shrubs and those are just crazy good. John from Ohio's Black Radish Creamery gave the acceptance speech on behalf of all of us crazy jammers and pretty much just nailed it right off the bat by opening with a little jam-maker humor and playing "Jammin'". The jam jokes Do. Not. Get. Old.
After the ceremony, my fiancé and I partied it up with my mom and her lovely gentlemen friend, and my picture was on this big screen with all the other winners and it was totally insane and it went to my head even though I tried not to let it. Tip toeing on the clouds! When our coaches became pumpkins once again, we headed home on the trolley through the balmy SF night and giggled our way to sleep. Needless to say it was a memorable night.
Saturday was the bustling and crazy-busy GFA Winners Marketplace at the Ferry Buildling and if you came by I probably explained to you what tayberries are and hopefully I didn't sound like a zombie. I was a zombie, but I think my table—my first ever!—was sort of adorable! I spruced it up with a lovely piece of fabric from Bolt Fabric, a shop just down the street from me here in Portland and it looked like this:
I had such fun watching people enjoy the Tayberry jam—a rare treat for me as I usually just pop the jar in the mail and hope that whoever's mouth it ends up in is a happy one. We celebrated with good cocktails and great friends and now it's back to the kitchen!
Thank you all for being awesome and for loving jam and good food!
Warm-fuzzies and all the best,