We were in Michigan last week and on a very hot and humid day went to an orchard to pick fruit. We came home with more sour cherries and blueberries than we probably needed and the seasonal fruit timer ticking away. I made a cherry pie (this recipe has become my favorite) and then decided to make jam with the blueberries. I used a recipe from Camilla Wynne’s Jam Bake (I know I am a broken record) that infuses the blueberry jam with coffee. Weirdsies! I couldn’t really imagine it but gave it a try because I’m a wild and reckless guy. The jam is super good! It’s hard to describe what happens. You can taste the blueberry jam, and also a hint of coffee. They don’t necessarily blend together, my palate kind of vibrates between the two. And if I didn’t know there was coffee in the jam, I might think there was just a sort of vague nuttiness which helps temper the sweetness. Anyway, I am a fan. The recipe I used made 5 pints of jam and all you would need to do to try is to put a tablespoon or so of coffee beans into a tea strainer and boil away with the jam. Or buy Camilla’s book.
Some other stuff I’m into…
Speaking of jam, I made some rhubarb jam with Amarena cherries recently which required me to buy one of those pretty jars of Amarena cherries from Italy. And we don’t talk nearly enough about how good those cherries are. They’re such a singular flavor. I ended up using some of the syrup from the cherries in a glaze for bakewell tarts, and it was a real revelation. Now I am trying to use Amarena cherries in everything. Amarena cherry summer? Also, a jar of these things, while expensive, makes a really good host gift. I would much rather this than a bottle of wine.
My best friend is an educator and artist who produced a newly released podcast called Belonging. Earlier this spring I had the privilege of attending a listening party with everyone involved with the project and was totally blown away. The podcast (intended for educators (broadly defined!), but I think everyone would enjoy it) is about “reckoning, reconciliation, and rebuilding.” I’m just going to quote from the project’s website because why wouldn’t I.
- The first season of Belonging follows teachers and students from across the U.S. on a journey to confront their biases and build classrooms where students can bring their full selves.
- Teachers have the power to affirm students’ identities. Unchecked teacher bias can cause harm.
- Young people’s perspectives can spark the change needed to build belonging in schools.
Depths of Wikipedia
Just in case you don’t know about one of the best things on the internet.
A really beautiful shop selling gardening…stuff—clothes, tools, gifts, etc.. Reminds me of some of my fav places in the UK, but US-based. They carry brands like Sneeboer, Niwaki, and Le Laboureur.
Young Bloomsbury by Nino Strachey
Currently reading and enjoying this book about the second generation of Bloomsbury. An interesting examination of their challenges to gender and sex norms, and also a fun chronicle of the times. The author highlights the ways the two generations of Bloomsbury inspired and influenced each other.