If you're wondering what I've been doing lately, don't look on the blog, look on Twitter. I've been moonlighting as the jam fairy over in the kitchen at Manresa. We have so much produce coming from the gardens at Love Apple Farm that we had to do something about them. So I've been making jam with red tomatoes, green tomatoes, hot chillies, not to mention all the fabulous Meyer lemons and mandarins we harvested from Gene's farm. The craziest thing about all this is that we sold them all already! All of them. Most even before I was done making them. Pre-arrival jams, how about that, huh? Who wants to trade in Bordeaux futures when you can sell jam futures?
Anyhow, today I want to tell you about the one I had the most fun making. No, no, I'm not saying that I loved it the most. I love all my jam children equally. I'm saying I had the most fun making it, mostly because I think - quite shamelessly so - that it's such a brilliant idea. The inspiration struck pretty suddenly, as I was rummaging in Manresa's dry storage looking for ingredients I could play with. The produce I was working with that day was butternut squash - the garden had produced such an abundance the kitchen couldn't keep up, so in my bassine à confiture they go. I'd been vaguely thinking about doing something with vanilla beans, then I found a bottle of Bourbon whiskey, just laying there, looking a bit forlorn, a light layer of dust covering the bottle's shoulder. Bourbon whiskey are aged in American oak, giving it a lovely vanilla aroma, which would compliment the Bourbon vanilla I'd planned to use in the jam. And as far as I'm concerned everything is better with a little booze in it!
And I knew that was it. Butternut squash, Bourbon vanilla, and bourbon whiskey. That's my jam! I even got the name right that very moment: Butternut Bourbon². How cute is that, huh? (Can you tell I used to be a geek?)