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Breakfast at the Hillcrest Farmers’ Market (San Diego)

Angie | Sep 27, 200509:18 AM

Sundays I like to get up and head out early to the Farmers’ Market (it opens at 9). My first stop is the Bread & Cie stand where I pick up my usual levain and French white baguette. Then I head over to Normal St. where I talk farming and politics with Barry at La Milpa. (I always try to get to his stand early to make sure I get some of the mixed salad greens before he runs out.)

Almost directly across from La Milpa is Jackie’s Jams. Jackie Anderson, a former director of a foster care program in San Diego, began making jams as a hobby. She started her business three years ago to see if she could make some money at it. Now she sells at famers’ markets as well as several stores around town, including Jonathan’s Market in La Jolla. In addition to the classics, like strawberry and orange marmalade, Jackie makes limited seasonal flavors, such as persimmon and pumpkin butter, which she said would be coming soon. Many, like the zippy jalapeno, work well as a glaze for meat and fish. She took the pictures of Ocean Beach on all the labels.

What I like about her jams is that they are not overly sweet. Using less sugar seems to allow the full flavor of the fruit to come forward more. Jackie makes the jams herself in a commercial kitchen, whose rent, she says, costs more than the rent on her home. She enjoys the jam business because it still allows her contact with the public, but she told me the best part of her job is working with local farmers. Jackie uses only fresh, seasonal fruit (and organic, locally grown fruit whenever possible). My favorites are the spicy peach and the tart strawbarb (a combination of strawberry and rhubarb).

After I've tasted nearly all of the dozen or more flavors (which Jackie always lets you sample), it’s back home for bread and jam and coffee and the rest of the Sunday paper.


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