Pork Jam

As I write this, Martin is boiling fifteen kilos of plums on our stove… how could I not be inspired? You see, we have a plum tree in our yard that deserves attention, not just because it is loaded with fruit, but because it is a unique fruit that creates the most wonderful jam. Our tree bears greengage plums, or as Martin likes to call them, “Reine Claudes”.

The greengage plum is an old variety that was developed in France, and apparently was brought to England in the 1700’s by a Rev. John Gage, who found them at the Chartreuse Monastery. (Perhaps this helped in their English name; these plums are truly halfway between green and yellow in colour, the definition of chartreuse.) They found their way to “the colonies” in America shortly after, and were in the gardens of American Presidents Washington and Jefferson, but then their popularity declined soon after. Of course, at Rabbit Hollow, that just makes them even more endearing. The other interesting thing about them is that they grow true from seed, making them a bit like an heirloom plant.

Greengages are known for being one of the best dessert plums, and so they make delicious jams and compotes as well as crisps, crumbles and the like. I have dried them and used them in Christmas pudding, too. But this year Martin got the idea of making a condiment that he could use with his BBQ meats. He created a wonderful chutney full of flavour from not only the plums but also the many kinds of peppers we have in the garden, and the usual onions, a bit of garlic, ginger, and few other bits of inspiration that struck him. Hours of simmering on the stove and voila! “Pork Jam” was born.

It’s the season of the harvest. When Mother Nature gives you so much to play with, you have to get creative to use it all. I like the idea of having a sort of safety deposit box in the pantry, full of all kinds of flavours that can be pulled out in the dead of winter to bring back the sunshine and warmth of summer.

Here’s hoping you are having fun with all the bounty, too. If you aren’t the type to make your own, watch for those sparkling jars at the farmers’ markets and bring one home to enjoy. I remember once even finding a jar of “Toe Jam” at a small market in Salmon Arm. It tasted a lot like raspberry, but much better.

Bon Appetit!


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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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