The road to great strawberry jam is filled with signs.
Handwritten ones that say, “Slow slow slow slow.”
And, a few yards later, “Not slow enough. Slow down.”
But don’t let the signs that line the long driveway from Route 77 in Cape Elizabeth to Alewive’s Brook Farm deter you. At the end of the road, past the miles-high stacks of lobster traps on the right and the chicken coop on the left, you will be rewarded with strawberry jam nirvana.
Don’t ask me what makes this jam so special. As far as I know, they make it like any other strawberry jam. But it is so good my mother has me pack jars in my suitcase when I go visit her (and she hides her stash from my hungry relatives). It’s so good that one member of the Jordan family told me recently that he had caught people stealing it from the farm stand.
The jam is made with the farm’s Sparkle berries, which are known for their outstanding flavor, so maybe that’s it. Eating it is like eating a spoonful of strawberries straight off the vine – not too sweet, and full strawberry flavor. Want to blow your head off? Spread the jam on a croissant from Standard Baking Co.
OMG, as the kids say.
The jars are available at the farm stand almost year-round since the Jordans freeze the strawberries they don’t sell during strawberry season for use in jam. They make it in occasional batches, and it sells out fast. I always buy more than one jar just in case we hit, you know, the strawberry apocalypse and it’s gone for good. This year, they’re making a strawberry-rhubarb version, too.
Proceeds used to go to local education programs, but signs posted at the farm stand now inform customers that the money will be used to pay for the Jordan kids’ education. Fair enough. At $9 a jar, it’s kind of expensive, but it’s worth it.
— MEREDITH GOAD