My friend Nic told me about a jam maker in Sierra Madre, California, and we decided to go visit his orchard and jam factory. They give free tours every Saturday. For over 100 years, E. Waldo Ward & Son has been making marmalade, jams, and other condiments.
Back in the day, Sierra Madre was a settlement of farms and ranches, but the Ward Ranch is the only one left today. Also one of the last jam makers around that makes jam from fresh local fruits, E. Waldo Ward & Son pride themselves in not using any corn syrup or pre-processed peels. Without this addition of corn syrup like the larger commercial jam producers, marmalade from the Ward Ranch does not have to be refrigerated after opening. In the future I will have to check all jam labels!
Beautiful oranges, kumquats, and other fruits surround the jam factory and a cute yellow cottage where the family lives. I felt like I traveled back in time and stepped into a completely different world. Life is full of surprises like this one.
I bought some apple butter and their famous Seville Orange marmalade. I love apple butter because it’s creamy, a little sweet, and delicious when paired with cheese. For a quick delicious lunch, try spreading apple butter on fresh sourdough, top with a few slices of smoked Gouda, and a few spoonful of sautéed ground Bison.