Back when most people grew their own crops and made their own sauces, pies and jams, some gifteddamson1.jpg artisan with a slow hand and an open heart might have made this jam. (Shown here on my breakfast table already half-consumed along with coffee, eggs, toast and butter.)

Damson plums — organic ones — and sugar. That’s all Heidi Schlecht used to stir up this deeply rewarding preserve of late harvest fruit, more tart than sweet, whose flavors go all the way into a new dimension. For $10 or so you can obtain a 9.8oz jarful of last summer, spread it on some toast and pretend its the 19th century when flavor trumped convenience and quality ruled.

I get mine at the Westside Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. But you can find these handmade organic jams at Schlecht’s River Cafe & Cheese Shop too.