Bet you didn’t know that next Monday, April 2, is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. Well, the folks at This & That Jam certainly knew, probably because it’s their business to know all things jam related. To celebrate the holiday centered on the classic pairing, This & That Jam is hosting a fundraiser at Fullsteam Brewery at 8pm. The event includes a home canning demonstration and peanut butter and jelly treats from This & That as well as Big Spoon Roasters, Crumb, Bread & Butter and Monuts Donuts.
Besides getting to nab some tasty treats, you’ll be helping support a small business that’s 100 percent committed to buying all local produce. And Ali Rudel and Ben Filippo, the preserves enthusiasts behind This & That Jam, want to do more than sell you jelly (they want to do that as well, but there’s more). They are hoping to reincorporate canning as a part of everyday life back into the American tradition. As a part of their job, they travel to different farms, community gardens and other places to do workshops on-site, using seasonal produce that’s grown locally, often on the very farm or garden where the workshop is being held. Most of these workshops are free or have small fees, and if This & That Jam exceeds their fundraising goal, all of those funds will go towards more free workshops.
“Being in a community like this makes our job really easy,” Ali says. “A lot of the people we talk to in our workshops are already incredibly supportive of local agriculture. Some of them are new to the concept but eager to learn, and some people are just curious. But regardless of how they come into it, canning is a group activity, so people come to our workshops and they go home and enlist the help of their friends and spread the word (no pun intended).”
Their next jam-making workshop is on “Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse,” held at Duke’s Smith Warehouse Kitchen from 3-5:30pm on April 13.
“The idea is, if zombies were to take over, would you know how to fend for yourself – grow your own food, fix your bike, make cheese, etc.” Ali says. “Because really, you can't survive the zombie apocalypse if you don't know how to preserve your food. You'd just die.”
December 21 is coming up fast – sign up, just in case.