Gardening inspires some dynamite combinations. My most shocking revelation came when I picked some raspberries and then cut some oregano into the same basket. Some fragments of oregano clung to the raspberries. Wow! My tastebuds sat up and took notice. Try it sometime, with maybe a splash of heavy cream.

Experimentation was ratcheted up after that experience. How about pears with lavender?


Too much sugar gets in the way of the subtle flavor of pears, in my opinion. Regular pectin can require as much as seven cups of sugar to produce a mere five pints of jam. The pectin pictured above, Pomona’s Universal Pectin, puts us in the driver’s seat. It may not be easy to find. I bought mine at New Seasons, but my guess is that any natural-food-oriented market would have it. To four and a half cups of crushed pears, I added three teaspoons of lavender, one cup of sugar, the juice and zest of one lime and followed the product’s directions from there. This is dangerous stuff. I usually avoid eating bread, but toast with this jam has become a new morning ritual.

This is one of the few remaining products in the world with no web address on the packaging. Here’s the snail mail address:

Pomona’s Universal Pectin
PO Box 1083
Greenfield MA 01302

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