Pam Jam and English Peas - East Bay Trip

Monday, June 25, 2007

This weekend, I went to Northern California to visit some friends and family. On Friday, I felt like Rachael Ray on those $40 a day shows...while talking to my friend Pam who grew up in Berkeley, I say, "I see people walking around with frozen yogurt cups, and I need to find out where they get it." She says, "Try Yogurt Park on Durant" and presto! Yummy Irish Mint and Chocolate frozen yogurt! Like Rachael says, talk to the locals! I got a Berkeley Public Library card and checked out their cool 5-story main library...and picked up a cookbook in the Friends of the Library bookstore!

I had dinner at Cesar on Piedmont with my cousin Stan, his partner David and my other UCLA roommate, Diane who recently moved back to California from Colorado. It was supremely yummy. We had many tapas dishes and stuffed favorites included the patatas bravas (potatoes), fresh (yes, fresh) garbanzo beans with cumin, baby octopus and English peas (yes, these two items do go together) and the bread pudding. I'm going to try to bake some almond cake because it was delicious!

On Saturday, June 23, 2007, I headed to nearby Berkeley and made Pam Jam! This great creation is homemade and homegrown plum/blackberry jam. Pam's family has made it for over 20 years and has the whole process perfected. When I had the jam during grad school at UCLA with Pam, I decided I had to learn how to make jam. Luckily, Pam's family offered to teach me.

First, we picked some blackberries and plums in their backyard.

Aren't these beautiful?!

Pam's parents helped guide us through the process. Pam and her parents all went to Stanford undergrad and all got PhD's at UC Berkeley. Lots of brains went into making this jam!

After adding a whole bag of sugar, we boiled our jam and poured it into our sterilized jars.

The fun part was steaming the jars in their big canning pot. After 5 minutes, you lift the lid and listen for popping noises. You know that pop you hear when you open a jar of, say, store-bought jam? When you can things, you get the opposite sound! It was a lot of fun!

I knew I would have to check my luggage because I couldn't carry on my jam. When I opened my suitcase and unwrapped my jam at home, I found a TSA notice that said they opened the package. I bet they were jealous of my jam and wanted some!

Coming up next, creating my raspberry squares with my Pam (and Mary) Jam!

This is part of the great view from Pam's kitchen. She is growing a bunch of veggies as well in the backyard! It definitely was a weekend filled with foods of the earth!

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Brian said... [Reply to comment]

Yogurt Park is a Berkeley staple. I love that place.

The jam looks amazing!

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