New Year, New Beginning

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Hello jam lovers and makers,

I just wanted to introduce myself; my name is Katy (I also blog over at Dining with Dostoevsky) and I’m the new owner/administrator of Jam Experiments. I’m really excited to have this opportunity and to start reviewing different jams, to  interview both upcoming and established jam makers and to have an excuse to experiment with different jam flavors. I’m one of those people who believes that a full pantry is best! I should confess that, although I want to stay true to Elizabeth’s vision and to focus primarily on jams, I also think there are different preserves that could be featured here, so I may use this space to try out some recipe ideas for chutneys, pickles and, given my familiarity with the Greek way of preserving, spoon sweets (I promise they’re good stuff). If you have any ideas for the blog , please feel free to send them my way in the comments section of this post.

But before saying anything else, I should explain how the change in blog ownership came about. Back in September, I volunteered to help out in the preserves category at the Good Food Awards. As the judges started to arrive, I realized that one of them looked awfully familiar and, when I finally got a chance to speak to this judge, I discovered that it was Elizabeth. We had gone to Columbia together (River 2A/2B, or the story of how college dorm choices will haunt you forever) and then both ended up at Berkeley for graduate school; as it turned out, we also had one more thing in common: an interest in jam, food blogging and writing. After the Good Food Awards, we found each other on Twitter and Facebook to stay in touch; then one day in November, Elizabeth wrote out of the blue, asking me if I would be interested in taking over her blog since she didn’t have as much time as she would have liked to dedicate to it. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity, but then Thanksgiving and holiday travel got in the way of my actually coming up with some new material for the blog. Fortunately, it’s a new year and a new beginning, and I fully intend on making Jam Experiments a big part of my year.

I’m currently working with a few jam makers to get some new brands and flavors to review and I’m also both working on and looking for some recipes to feature. If all goes as planned, I should be able to update here at least once a week and I hope you’ll all stick around to see what’s coming up!

In the meantime, I’m going to provide some links and general jam/preserving inspiration for your reading pleasure:

If you want to know more about the spoon sweets I mentioned, here’s a link to my post on turning jujubes into one.

A friend of mine recently made cranberry curd, which seems like a wonderful treat for this time of year.

As I was running late to work today, I stopped by a local place for breakfast and to flavor my yogurt they gave me a small container of a spiced pear jam; inspired by the flavor, I immediately went to Google for some ideas and found this.

Some jam brands whose products I’m currently coveting: quince & apple (based in the midwest), Republic of Jam (based in the Pacific northwest) and Craftsman & Wolves (based in SF, i.e. in my backyard; their Passion Fruit Olive Oil Curd is heartstoppingly good).

A recipe for Valencia Orange Marmalade from Food & Wine/Rachel Saunders.

And, finally, in case you just want to eat jam, rather than make jam: a recipe for a Vanilla Bean Jam Cake (we all know that New Year’s resolutions were made to be broken).

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4 thoughts on “New Year, New Beginning

  1. Awesome!! I am so excited about this! My only sadness is that I am not there to try all the jams with you! I am pumped for chutneys and pickles and spoon sweets! But especially pickles. Cliche as it sounds, grocery store pickles are not pickley enough for my pregnant palate!

    • Katy says:

      This comment is ridiculously overdue, but on this rainy northern California morning, I am again trying to figure out WordPress, so that I can post the results of my first jam experiment…It’s not salty, but I hope your pregnant palate will still be inspired! :) x Hope you’re feeling better!

  2. I’m so glad to see you behind this site, Katy! You’re a perfect match, and you are introducing to me to a world I love but am rather ignorant of. A jam reviewer?! What an awesome job!
    Thank you so much for the shout out, too! : )

    • Katy says:

      The shout out was well deserved and I was really happy to link to your blog. :) I think I’m going to have fun with this jam site; I just need to find time to post about my experiments! Sometimes 24 hours a day seem like too little…sometimes they seem like too much.

      P.S. Sorry this reply is overdue; I’m still figuring out WordPress. It really is quite different from blogger.

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