Inspiration for October's letter came last Spring when Coco Jobard showed off her wonderful old Alsatian jam(confiture) dish towel. Jars of luscious fruity jam spell Fall to me. I'm crazy for the hand-written labels, the fluted glass jars. Jam on toast or a croissant plus tea and a good book is the best no?
But researching jam for 3+ weeks is maybe not the best kind of immersion for the easily tempted.
These jam hats (chapeau pot de confiture) made me swoon. You can find a wonderful variety of hats on Littlemarket.com.
Some of the best hats are worn on the best jam made in France by Alsatian Christine Ferber. She hand-ladles her heavenly jams into each pot to maintain quality. I dream of visiting her shop in Niedermorschwihr if I ever figure out how to pronounce it. These jams are in the new Galerie Lafayette's Food department, moved across the street from the main store.
Three glorious floors of food boutiques and mini restaurants and everything is clearly marked out. Le Grand Epicerie feels like a maze since they redid it. I forever get lost and can't find what I want.
Head over to Librairie Gourmands on 92, rue Montmartre 75002 for the best selection of cookbooks in Paris, two floors of them. some are in English. All of them gorgeous.
Their windows right now are full of jam cookbooks. I bought this one though I'll never lift a wooden spoon or stir strawberries in a copper pot. Look for 'cuit au chaudron' (cooked in a caldron) on the labels. Traditional copper pots are great conductors of heat. You want to cook your fruit quickly and evenly.
They have adorable boxed preserves sets with all the essential accoutrement for jam-making. So tempting.
Researching jam requires a visit to La Chambres au Confitures. There's a new branch in the Marais.
Inside it's wall-to-wall jam divided into seasonal flavors. You can sample every jam in the place and I almost did before deciding on fig. See my sampling spoons below.
If you're like me and have 'impulse control issues' you'd best stick to collecting miniature jars of jam. Once a jam pot enters my house it's 'Gone Girl' in the blink of the eye.
Painting jam, on the other hand, is a perfectly safe activity for the jam-addicted. It is advisable to work from photographs rather than the real thing.
Frenchy script on jam jar labels (etiquettes) always intrigues me. My first banner for Parisbreakfast was a jam label. If you're mad for these little paper stickers the best source is BHV, second floor craft department.
I used mini jam jars to sketch from, to minimize the damage of wolfing down big jars of apricot jam in one fell swoop. Size matters.
Parisbreakfast readers often ask for old watercolor still lives so I decided I'd make the Sketch letters more washy.
You can see ALL of the October letter uncovered on Etsy. If you've been resisting subscribing here's an enticement. A jar of pear jam (an original watercolor 4" x 6") sent as a bonus if you subscribe to the Paris Sketch Letters. This is the perfect time of year for jam don't you think.