Sunday, September 18, 2011
Last Sunday ( 9/11) I had the extraordinary opportunity to take a jam making class ( held at Willow Springs Ranch in the foothills of the Bridger Mountains near Bozeman) taught by Rachel Saunders of Blue Chair Fruit Company in California.
A friend taught me to make jam in the early 70s. By the mid 70s, we were living on the Little Hills Game Experimentation Station in the Peance Basin of western Colorado and I would drive our 3/4 ton Ford pickup to Grand Junction on fruit buying trips...making canned peaches and numerous jams. Over the years, the amount of my jam making has varied..but always I would do a batch of my signature jam..Peach Melba...3 parts peaches to 1 part raspberries. This summer ( my first summer of not working in 35 years) I was again enjoying jam making.
I saw a small notice in the local paper about jam making classes...the Advanced Flavors sounded interesting. The cost of the class was for me high...but I decided I wanted the 'experience'.
Rachel Saunders was absolutely amazing....her knowledge/demonstration of the chemistry of the jam making process, explanation of the building of complex jam flavors as well as the back story of her 10 years of experimentation and 3 1/2 years in business. She has a staff of 3 but still makes all of the jams sold by Blue Chair Fruit Company. I learned so much on Sunday and was inspired!
Friday night after work..I spent 5 hours making Candied Orange Peel...so now I can play today with some black and blue berries...creating something wonderful!
So how does this relate to Textile History? I stepped out of my comfort zone and had an extraordinary experience. I am now totally energized to create a wonderful jam today and to dig deeper into my current research on the history of Chintz!