I would be a fool not to drop a line on a day like this. I forgot to put my jam kitchen dishes away, three plastic cambros, a big steel spoon, a warped cutting board, a dull paring knife, and I just sent my landlord message apologizing, but that episode aside, today was a success. And though it's the second week of May, it feels like the first day of the year.
After over two months away from jam production, I rode my bicycle down down to SODO in deep rain. I soaped down my juice press, pulled out a cutting board, squeezed lemons for juice and over the afternoon I cut 40 pounds of rhubarb and 35 lbs of apples. Everything got stirred vigorously with honey and half a vanilla bean, blanketed with a layer of plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to macerate for 2 days. On Saturday I have a burly day of production in front of me. 11 pots of a flavor I have never taken all the way through the jarring process. I've mocked up the flavor several times and made many batches in bulk for the Whale Wins, but jarring is totally different. Fingers crossed things go smoothly on Saturday.
But in spirit, today does feel like the first of the year. I am looking out on a packed year of production. V Smiley Preserves heads into the supermarket this summer. 6 locations of Metropolitan Market. 2 Seattle Farmers Markets. At the same time Amy and I are planning our move back to my home in Vermont for 2015. In the meantime I want to meet as many people as I can at the markets and cook and share as much jam as I can jar. Rhubarb into cherries, strawberries with Apriums and so much stone fruit to swill with berries until the apples, quince, and pears outweigh their branches. Here we go!