Monday, May 3, 2010


OK, here's the story. Food making, like anything-else-making, can grow repetitive without variation and numb the brain. Which has happened to me here at BERKSHIRE PRESERVES. Now, I make the best marmalade probably anywhere in the known universe, at least east of the Mississippi and perhaps stretching farther west than that, but really, if I see one more pot of bubbling oranges and grapefruits I'll go crazy. I don't care how demanding my customers are. I need a break from the color orange. This said, please note that I have at least 50 pounds of gorgeous, ripe oranges in my chiller, direct from Sicily, waiting to be canned. Uh huh!

So, to break the pattern, I've been working on recipes using strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. I'm practicing on those woody, tasteless giants knows as Driscol's and those overgrown,hard bulbous things that pass as blackberries and figure that if I can make a wonderful jam using those ugly things, then I can make a wonderful jam using amazing fresh berries. So, in a short while, look for BERKSHIRE PRESERVES exceptionally marvelous Strawberry Jam with Saba and Mixed Berry Jam with Port Wine. My two severest food critics (Jessica and Andy) have claimed them a success.

I'm hoping to  be out selling my products at the Sheffield Farmer's Market (Sheffield, MA) starting on May 21 if I can get my application in on time, buy the canopy, outfit the table, have fliers ready, and produce enough of the preserves to sell to a voracious crown of locals, summer renters, tourists, restaurant scouts and friends. If you're up in the Berkshires this summer and if I can get all of this accomplished, please come and visit me on Friday's from 3:30 to 5:00 in Sheffield right on main street.

I've also just donated a "Special Edition" to the Egremont Land Trust to be auctioned off at their annual meeting in September. I'm hoping to create a preserve using one of the fine liquors from Berkshire Mountain Distillers. 

In the history department, BERKSHIRE PRESERVES had a very successful tasting last Thursday at Guido's in GB where, in just a few hours, I sold 39 jars and last Saturday at Bizalion's where I sold 36. My stock is way down and it would make sense to quit chattering here and go cook.

Oh, and Terry at The Old Mill, has created an amazing dessert for his special menu; BERKSHIRE PRESERVES and whisky bread pudding with creme Anglaise.  So, even if I'm determined to not eat sweets, how can I be seen turning down my own products?