I am happily consumed by jam making because it combines art and science and because, here at McEvoy Ranch, it is so deeply rooted to place. To the way the fruit sets each year, to which herbs flourish, to the pattern of the landscape.
I love the way the kitchen smells when we are infusing Anise Seed into each batch of Plum & Anise Preserves. I love seeing the lavender hanging to dry in the greenhouse as the apples ripen on our trees. I love learning more about the way pectin works on a molecular level and how it is affected by acidity and the BRIX level of a batch. I love the feeling of coming in the morning after a long and hectic cook day to rolling racks full of colorful jars. Of picking one up and turning it over and exhaling when it is in fact set. The magic and science of that. How just yesterday what went in that jar was liquid and today it isn't.
I love making 12 sample batches of Apple & Lavender Jellyto determine how best to balance the sweetness of the sugar, the acidity of the lemon juice, and the floral qualities of the fruit and herbs. I love that for even a truly dialed in recipe, each small batch is it's own being with it's own variables. How finicky fruit can be sometimes. What attitude!
For all these reasons, I am so looking forward to the Jam Making Workshopat the ranch August 10th from 1 PM - 4 PM. I'll get to walk people through our orchard. Apples and pears are loading down the trees and baby persimmons are beginning to grow. I'll discuss how we come up with our flavor combinations and share the inspiration of walking through the ranch's gardens. We'll sample different types of jams as I detail the essentials of making preserves. Maybe we'll trouble shoot people's home projects or come up with some fun things to try next. Then, I'll make a batch of jam and explain the process as I go.
Hopefully people will go home with more than just a jar of jam. Let's get excited (or more excited) about preserving the fruits around us. Sharing knowledge and sharing the story of the ranch. That is the whole point of this preserves business, right?