Plums roasted, sieved, boiled. Blackberries too. This year’s lemons cooked, scraped, sliced. Flavours build on each other as the seasons mingle, summer with fall, fall with winter, winter with sunlight.
Gently layered this jam is like nothing else that I have made before. The elements blend so that you can’t tell where one ends and the others begin. Like the perfect team it is much more than the sum of its parts. How is it, that in the kitchen these interdependent flavours come together so easily through intuition for me?
Born on February 29th this jam feels stolen, an extra moment of time that comes around few and far between. It was made in a moment of breathing space, within a year when breaths have been hard to find. In the last moment, just before the time of the setting point, the jam is whisked into jars, splattered across the floor, and sealed up tight. No longer the jam it was destined to be it is dubbed sauce, syrup, success.
Set free of expectations this preserve can now be anything. It can be served along side of gluten free madeleines on Sunday night. It can become the base of yogurt, stirred into oatmeal, or poured over ice cream. With bacon and shallot it is the perfect sauce in which to cook meatballs on Wednesday night. Perhaps it will be stirred into sparkling water with gin for a sensational summer cocktail.
My gratitude tonight is for this once-intended-to-be-jam, now-can-be-anything project. It is a reminder, tucked away on my pantry shelf for every time I need it, that things don’t always work out the way that you originally meant them to. But they will always, as long as you follow your intuition, wind up as more than what it took you to get there.
All you have to do is choose to see the possibilities. It can be that simple.