Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Meeting the Canjammers

Here is a vanilla pot de créme that I made entirely with cream. The recipe calls for milk or half and half. It was a special occasion, and it deserved all cream. That and the fact that I had a half-gallon of cream in the fridge. Shae from Hitchhiking to Heaven was coming to visit, and I needed something special for dessert that was gluten-free. I needn't have worried, for we tasted five different jams, and had brandied apricots and special local chocolate as well. And I was worried about dessert??

You should read about Shae and I met and became friends, even though she lives in Northern California and I live in upstate New York. We bonded through a recipe for clementine marmalade. It's a wonderful story that Shae captures perfectly.

Here are two of her blackberry mojito jams. Did you know that she won nine awards in the Marin County Fair? I covet her beautiful fruit masterpieces.

We also tasted two jams from the same recipe. Isn't amazing how different they are? When Doris and Jilly came to visit, she brought with her a gift of this Fig Lemon Lavender jam, and as she did she said, "You didn't make this, did you? Because I know someone did." I said no, but remembered that someone indeed had made the same jam. The next day when I met Sarah Hood from Toronto Tasting Notes, she handed me the same jam! What's wonderful, aside from getting great goods from great peeps, is that no two jams are the same, even if you are making them yourself from the same fruit, in the same kitchen. They are always different. These two were both gorgeous beauties in their own right.

The next day was spent meeting more good canning folk over at Thompson-Finch farms where the strawberries are organic and lush. Or were. They are all gone now. This was a few weeks ago. Here's my haul, that I got thanks to Shae. I could never pick this much while chasing around the little toddler.

And afterwards, Kate (Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking), Tigress (Tigress in a Jam and Pickle) and Shae, busted out some serious picnic under the shade tree for post-berry picking talk.

It was a gorgeous spread and an inspiring day. Tigress talks about it here. And Kate describes her day here. And Shae does here. How can you go wrong with like-minded folks, good food, and strawberry picking? I'm so glad I got the chance to meet everybody. It makes this online world so much more special. And it happens a lot more than you think!

I went home and made some strawberry ice cream. Amazingly, I didn't make strawberry jam immediately! I had plenty of cream. And plenty of strawberries. And there was nothing better to do than to sit with a bowl of fresh ice cream, and savor the days.


  1. You are really living it up with the cream. Can't wait to see what's next.

  2. i know! i'm like what's up with all that cream!! i want it now! i have 2 cups of raw cream in my freezer and i have been working up the energy to make some ice cream - you just inspired me...:)

  3. What a blast that sounds! Sorry you guys aren't closer. I'm swimming in raspberries. I'm picking at least a colander a day, sometimes two right now. Help!

  4. So fun that you all met up!

  5. Sounds like a fabulous time had by all! We'll have to plan another adventure - blackberries in August perhaps? (Or, with this weather, apples in August!)

  6. Denise - It's sort of disgusting. I have to purge the system. But cream is truly wonderful stuff!

    Tigress - Wow! I didn't know you could freeze cream. Makes sense. Make that ice cream! I can't wait to hear what flavor you came up with. Blueberry?

    Annette - I wish! I'm always jealous of your open houses!

    Meg - It was! I'd love to do a East-West merge, though!

    Kaela - I know, right?? I keep on wondering what September is going to be like if this keeps up. But yes, let's do it. Where do you get your organic apples, by the way? Isn't it somewhere in Accord?

  7. I still can't believe I actually got to eat that pot de créme. Or that you worried we wouldn't have enough dessert. We had dessert for like two hours without pause! And it was perfection. For me,it will always be about the light dancing with the tipsy apricots on the pale blue tablecloth.

    And you know, I can't decide whether it's a bad thing or a good thing that I don't live near all you ice cream makers! Cuz I just don't know when to say when. It looks so good!

  8. Oh that ice cream: drool...When my new freezer arrives tomorrow I will finally have space to keep my ice cream maker frozen and at the ready at all times.

  9. Sara - I am SO with you! We just bought a freezer the other day and I've been racking up all the things I can now do, and one of them is to have the ice cream maker on deck at all times. Blessed be!