Everything I said yesterday was true. I did visit the Irvington Farmers Market on Sunday. I did buy vegetables, and I even ate them. I did, however, kind of leave out my motivation for going. I wish I could say it was for health and wellness and the start of Operation Feel Good. It was not. I went for the apricot jam. Good apricot jam.
I love apricots. My grandmother used to make apricot pie, even though I think I was the only one that liked it (all the more for me). My friend who had reacquainted me with tarragon gave me apricot jam as a Christmas present one year. I don’t think I had ever mentioned my love of apricots to her, so I had to chalk it up to her uncanny sense of finding the perfect gift. I doubt I hid the greed in my eyes, like Gollum with the precious.
Last fall my stash of apricot jam dwindled after the market closed for the season. Kara, my roommate and friend of more than a decade, showed a surprising lapse in judgment or a dangerous disregard for the situation. She had been on a bread baking kick and suggested fresh bread and jam for breakfast. I wasn’t about to say no to that.
I pulled out the lingonberry jam for her.
She pulled out my apricot jam.
I guided her toward the lingonberry jam.
She said that the apricot jam looked good.
I said, “Apricot jam is my absolute favorite, perhaps you would like the lingonberry jam.”
She said with her back to me as she cut the bread, “I baked the bread.”
Like taunting a bear, she continued, “Besides, there’s another jar.”
I said, “That’s my point. There is ONLY one more jar.”
I handed her the lingonberry jam.
She reached for the apricot jam as she finally looked at me.
Kara smartly accepted the lingonberry jam. (I think it’s safe to say humans are 100% responsible for bear attacks.)
This is all to say that with the opening of the Irvington Farmers Market, it was time to stock up on apricot jam. My supplier is Schedeen Farms, located in the Cascades since 1977. The jam I received for Christmas was my gold standard, but the brand had disappeared and most other jams I found are just sticky perfumes. When I discovered the jams from Schedeen Farms met my gold standard, I had to make room on my shelves. With the opening of the market, I passed the vegetables and went straight to the Schedeen Farms’ stand.
I scanned their tables.
I paused in horror.
(Despite the panic, I couldn’t help but notice the olallieberry jam. I had never heard of an olallieberry before, but it’s an Oregon berry that is a cross between a loganberry and a youngberry. “Olallie” is berry in Chinook Jargon. Chinook Jargon is related to the language of the Chinookan people of the Columbia River, but was used with traders.)
Once calmer minds prevailed, I walked toward the owners to ask if perhaps more was hidden somewhere, when I noticed a few stray jars by the register. My stash is now nicely resupplied.
I may be able to make my stash stretch longer than normal, because when I returned from the market, I had an email from by brother and sister suggesting that Operation Feel Good begin on Tuesday. Today. (He typed sadly.)