This past summer, I took a lot of photos of fruit and honey boiling down to jam. Steam and bubbles obscured any chance of my phone's measly camera capturing 'the action'. I'd pull the pot of jam off the heat and try to capture the dynamics of a jam in progress, the shimmer and gloss of sugars condensing and concentrating. Really I was trying to capture the excitement I felt for the jam in the pot on that particular day and more generally, with each camera-on-jam attempt, I held up the excitement I felt for this honey preserves project.
I've been working on making honey preserved fruit products and recipes since May of this year. The idea of Stovetopletters was that it could serve as a spotty, but spontaneous recording device for the work I did in the kitchen. I like to write. It's what I studied in school but for me it feels more comfortable to be studious about food and unbidden about writing.
Still, I have all these jam related pictures, pictures meant to accompany posts that I didn't write. As I clean up after the coming out / launch party I threw this last weekend for my honey preserves project, part of the tidying entails going through roughly 2.5 seasons (May-November) of food photographs. Here they are with abridged explanations, otherwise known as captions.
Preserves layered in a late May birthday cake.
All the parts of a three day marmalade combined in one bowl before the cook down that transforms the juice, the honey and the fruit slices into a beautiful marmalade.
On my way to the Queen Anne Farmers Market.
An everyday work lunch brightened by a jar of preserves.
With jam making goes scrubbing. It only took an afternoon of jamming to do this to the wall next to my stove. Also, this was the hottest day of the year in Seattle and I had bought waaaaay too much fruit at the farmers market.
Thank goodness for these ones. You know, bees!
I transported the fruit home home by bus. Waiting on the 49, thinking about Tomato Preserves and Strawberry Nectarine Jam.
Sometimes it's hard to remember to put some away for the winter.
Then the tomatoes in our Seattle P-Patch ripened and I made Tomato Marmalade with oranges and lemons.
Two of us rode our bikes to Edel's house, picked up her Vanagon and drove to Christine's yard where we picked plums and prunes. The prunes ripened in our apartment and I spent the next three weeks making plum and prune preserves.
I loved making this jam. I picked the apples from the tree across the street from my Capitol Hill apartment building. The plums and prunes are from Maple Leaf.
Sharing jam with my family in Vermont. That is a Vergennes Laundry wood-fired oven croissant.
My father passed away in October. I had to wait a couple days before I could leave Seattle and get back east. On my parents land in Vermont, they had apple, plum and pear trees. While I cooled my jets in Seattle I made this jam to honor my father's passing. Vanilla, Apple, Pluot, Pear with Lemon. Considering my dad's personality, the jam turned out appropriately, the flavor was layered, the texture complex.
I used the peel to infuse in some ginger liqueur to be used in next year's preserving cycle. More presently--I thought to myself as I ate the rest of the orange--full-fledged winter, citrus, and marmalade season are coming!
Here is the ginger liqueur in process.
Setting up a store of kinds in my apartment. My first jam tasting, Jam Party!
Dessert or breakfast? I now have one jar open of every jam I made this year, which is a number over 30. I've got some serious eating to do. If you are in Seattle, feel free to contact me if you want to lend a hand. You bring the ice cream, yogurt, scones, gluten free toast, etc, and I have the jam.