Summer Jam Making with Blue Chair Fruit Co
Learn the art of making a jam of fresh summer fruit with Oakland's notorious preserver, Rachel Saunders of BLUE CHAIR FRUIT! Founded in February 2008, Blue Chair Fruit is the product of nearly ten years of intensive research on fruit and fruit preserving techniques. Long before jam and marmalade came back into style, Rachel was slaving away in her tiny kitchen, perfecting every possible jam and marmalade technique. Blue Chair Fruit is famous for its unusual flavors, which range from simple (Greengage Jam, Lime Marmalade) to complex (Quince-Orange Marmalade, Orange-Kumquat Marmalade with Cardamom & Saffron). Come and learn from Rachel as we create a batch of seasonal jam with local summer fruits to share!
I began my journey over 10 years ago working in high-end food service with a special focus on local, sustainable and handmade food. I have classical training in serving wine, cheese and beer. Partway through my career, I began to desire a more intimate connection with the food and beverages I loved. I learned about sustainable farming through the work-travel organization World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). I began to grow my own food making the most out of my urban garden space. Preserving the harvest was inherently the next step as I endeavoured further into urban homesteading. Soon, I was creating my own alchemy of ferments and preserves, taking quickly to Sandor Katz's book, Wild Fermentation. I interned with Teutonic Wine Company in Oregon, learning how to make wine naturally with only ambient yeasts. I learned to make yogurt and fresh cheese at home; and aged, unpasteurized cheese with Garden Variety Cheese Company in Watsonville, CA. I preferred the flavors and health benefits of these wild ferments and continued to explore these lesser-known, ancient methods of preserving. Through my studies, I was introduced to herbal medicine as yet another form of preserving. I apprenticed with the SF Herbalist assisting with their product line of Herban Elixirs. I continue to be driven by the desire to learn, create, and share.
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