The seasons in Los Angeles are a bit ambiguous in the conventional sense, so I think of them more in terms of "when all the flowering trees bloom" or "when it rains." Right now it's "when all the berries and stone fruit are ripe and cheap." I already had a wealth of blueberries thanks to the largesse of the Trader Joe's gods. Man these berries were good. So with all the loot from the movie, I had a holy f*@kload of blueberries.
One of the only items I actually had to purchase for the BBQ was thyme (for the sliced heirloom tomatoes. Oh yeah!). Since you never need even half the quantity of herbs you purchase, I had plenty of that left. I still do, actually. More thyme than I know what to do with. I decided maybe the blueberry jam needed thyme. I googled it, and of course someone else on the internet had tried it already, so I figured it must be ok. That's a good way to judge if something's a good idea, right? I used this recipe, rather unfaithfully, added thyme, and remarkably, it set up perfectly despite my lax attention to procedural concerns with the sugar and pectin.
Not content to make only one kind of jam, I combined a holy trinity of drupes: nectarines, peaches, and apricots. I considered adding plums, but it just didn't feel right.
Why mess with that color?
I pretty much followed the directions on the pectin box for this one. I used the lo-no sugar pectin, so I was able to add a small fraction of the sugar most jam recipes call for. The idea was to keep the fruit tasting like itself. I'm pleased to say it did, and the peacotarine jam set up nicely as well.
All told, I made 6 pints of jam. That's 12 cups. Oh snap!