We’re just back from San Francisco, where our Backyard grapefruit marmalade with Campari was honored with a Good Food Award. It’s the second time our micro-jammery has gotten the Good Food nod, and take it from us: being feted at San Francisco’s renowned Ferry Building in the company of culinary artisans from around the country is seriously inspirational. It’s also an opportunity for some did-I-dream-that feasting at the after-reception. Black sesame brittle! Dark milk chocolate with fleur de sel! Colorado goat cheddar! Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey! It was the meal of a lifetime—each tiny bite and sip more enchanting than the last. Thank you, Alice Waters and Sarah Weiner (both pictured below) for bringing such a spirit of joy to the awards, and to all our fellow winners, especially our comrades in jam, who range from American Spoon in Northern Michigan to Nashville’s Bathtub Gin. Sweet! (Photos by Marc Fiorito and Jonathan Fong / Gamme Nine Photography)
A good jar of jam holds many things—locally grown fruit, a preserver’s craft, a strong sense of the season and place where it grew. A good jar of marmalade, on the other hand, holds all that and more. A good jar of marmalade, I’ve always thought, contains a short story. Take our newest flavor, Triple citrus marmalade with Earl Grey tea. It’s not just a sweetly tart spread of amber deliciousness. It also brings to mind a spectacular dowager (lineage: Pasadena’s Millionaires Row-by-way-of-Downton-Abbey) sitting down to enjoy it with a sunny midwinter breakfast of toast and eggs (coddled or shirred, please.) Or consider the narrative contained in our popular Backyard grapefruit w/Campari—you can fill in the details, but it definitely includes a Tuscan swimming pool and hillsides stretching for miles. Not all marmalade stories have a happy ending: our experimental melding of backyard oranges with our favorite single malt scotch turned medicinal, not sweetly smoky, in the jar. But other flights of fancy have yielded felicitous story lines—a piney swirl of backyard rosemary deliciously complicating the sunny yellow existence of simple Meyer lemon. Read any good marmalades lately? Photo: BrooklynBoy Design
We’ve always envied those signs that spring up all over Paris every August: “Fermeture Annuelle” or even, on the door of a legendary Left Bank candy store, a little hand-written note declaring that the proprietress had departed for a vacation “bien méritée.” We’ve always considered this break in business-as-usual to be a sign of a deeply civilized and season-respecting society. And this year, we’ve decided to join the party with our own post-holidays version of the annual closing. We’ll be taking a breather till mid-January, 2012. Thank you to all who’ve purchased our jams this season. It was a delight to serve you. We’ll be back with some marmalades soon, including popular favorites such as Meyer lemon with Oregon cranberry and our signature Backyard grapefruit with Campari, as well as some new flavors including Meyer lemon with backyard rosemary and Backyard grapefruit with craft bitters. Until then, here’s hoping you’re enjoying a little “fermeture annuelle” of your own. Happy New Year!
Remember your first fig? Chances are it was in a “Newton,” and it was good—as far as elementary school treats are concerned. But there comes a time in every life for a more adult relationship with the fig. Ours came in a Southern California backyard. Early autumn. Sausages sizzling on the grill. Figs, straight from the giant sheltering tree, and—get this—some nutty Jarlsberg cheese. Maybe it was the company of our dearest friends, or the nice wine we were sipping, but the revelation was obvious: figs play really well with others. Which brings us to our latest flavor favorite: fig-walnut conserve with backyard orange. The combination shows off the late summer/early autumn ripeness of rosy-dark figs, melded with earthy organic walnuts and brightened with nuggets of fresh orange. Whether you enjoy it with some tangy blue cheese, smeared onto buttered whole grain toast or drizzled over some Greek yogurt, we hope it’s the beginning of a meaningful relationship.