Our friends Monique and Kevin came over for dinner the other night and, while I'm not a big hostess-gift person (a bottle of wine seems like plenty to me), brought us a wonderful jar of blackcap jam made by Ayers Creek Farm. The next morning I was looking for something to have with my coffee and toasted como from Grand Central and pulled it out of the cupboard. Let me tell you, opening this was like an explosion of distilled summer with its almost black color and deep, rich berry flavor and aroma.
Ayers Creek is a small organic farm in Gaston that is owned by Anthony and Carol Boutard and specializes in berries, beans, melons and grains. Their produce is used by several prominent local restaurants and is carried in local Whole Foods stores, and their jams can be found at both Pastaworks locations. During farmers' market season, they are regulars at the Hillsdale Farmers' Market. I'm definitely going to be seeking these folks out, so check back in for an update. In the meantime, get some of this incredible jam for yourself. It's amazing!