When he was eight, Boy Twit decided to sell jam. He picked blackberries in tangled patches, coming home with bucketfuls plus cuts and slivers galore. He helped wash and crush the berries. He also provided a berry-stained thumbprint for the original label. He then spent many hours out front selling with his friends and the dogs—and because this was Southlands and people were driving slowly anyway (horses are allowed on the roads here), they would stop, and the kids looked sweet, and so did the jam, so they would buy a jar or two. The Boy Twit made over one thousand dollars that first summer. (He learned about the harsh realities of gross and net profit the following year.)
Today, Sam’s Jams is a sturdy little operation, putting up about 150 jars of strawberry, raspberry and blackberry jam each season. Customers call or stop by for their orders. (The Boy Twit would insist I to mention here that the jam is $4–125ml, $6–250ml and $10–500ml.)
All this has meant that our shelves are well stocked with jams. Aside from spreading on toast over homemade butter (see Get Your Butter Freak On), we use jam for Jam Pie (duh) and as gifts for friends when we go to their houses for dinner. The Boy Twit did try to get me to pay for the jam we used in the house, but not since I mentioned that labor was never factored into his costs.
I’ve recently stumbled across a brilliant way to use jam—as a sweetener for smoothies. Instead of using honey, we spoon in a tablespoon or two of jam, and it heightens the flavor of the smoothie, particularly if we’re using raspberry jam with raspberries and strawberry jam with strawberries. Go on. This is definitely the season to try it.