This Wednesday, what was fleetingly Gus' Lunch Box will officially become Sqirl (pronounced "squirrel"), where you can buy over 15 varieties of owner Jessica Koslow's small-batch jams and preserves. Produced in custom-made copper jam pans, they come in dreamy flavors like strawberry and thyme, Elberta peach with lemon verbena, raspberry and lavender, and tomato and coriander. Bring in your own jar and for a price you'll be able to fill it with Koslow's sauerkraut or her crunchy, fantastically sour pickles, which taste of dill, juniper berries and the best deli you went to as a kid. The late Amy Pressman's and Bill Chait's Short Order will serve Sqirl pickles and sauerkraut, while Short Cake will sell her preserves.
|Tomato and coriander jam (left), sauerkraut (right).|
If you've been yearning to overcome your fear of canning, you're in luck: On the weekends, Sqirl turns itself into a pickle and preserve university. Koslow's first class? A 101 on making your own pectin, Gravenstein apple butter and preserving seasonal fruits.
We checked in with Koslow, who was busily prepping for her shop's opening but happy to chat about her oddball career (which includes stints as an ice skater and an American Idol producer), how she ended up as a preserve queen and why vinegar is a no-no among artisanal picklers.More »