Our Temescal farmer’s market was beautiful this Sunday, all the colors and crowds alive with the joy of summer. So many fruits to sample and enjoy on the spot. And, sadly, still so much plastic in evidence… bags & containers. Last year I wrote about plastic at the farmer’s market and the effort to educate vendors and patrons about alternatives. This Sunday, one vendor left me pleasantly surprised.
Blue Chair Fruit Company produces extraordinary jams and preserves that are packaged in glass jars with metal lids. That’s fine enough. But what caused me to stop at their table were the tiny metal tasting spoons they were using to give samples. While other vendors of prepared foods (including the women hawking her pesto spreads in the next booth) used disposable plastic spoons or even (to a lesser degree) disposable compostable spoons, Blue Chair used durable spoons that would be washed and reused.
I chatted with Rachel Saunders, the jam-maker herself, about the choice to use metal spoons. Her response was something like, “Plastic spoons turn me off. I don’t want to taste anything on a plastic spoon. I don’t want it anywhere near my mouth.” (Since I didn’t take notes, those might not have been her exact words, but pretty close.) I found myself hoping the woman next to her was listening and would catch the hint!
So I bought a jar of the strawberry marsala jam with rosemary and enjoyed some with local Feel Good Bakery bread and Food Mill peanut butter at the conclusion of my vision fast. Wow. Delicious. But really, I think today I need to have some of that jam on plain bread without the peanuts to compete with. Yeah, I need to do that!
Read more about Blue Chair Fruit Company in the SF Chronicle, where you’ll also find several jam recipes, if you’re inclined to save the whopping $10/jar and make your own. Rachel’s got a jam cookbook coming out in 2010. Maybe by then I’ll be ready to test those waters myself.
This year, tomatoes. I’m thinking that perhaps they will be my first canning project. We go through soooooo much store-bought tomato/spaghetti sauce. Ideas? Can I do it without investing in a canner?