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Stanford Parents' Club History

Stanford Mothers Operated Student Rest Homes for over 30 year starting in the 1920's

Making Homemade Apricot Jam

Stanford Parents' Club has a very long tradition of making and selling homemade Jam, as a fundraiser.

In the early years of the club, members donated homemade jam for use in nursing homes, helping students recovering from illnesses or injuries. Having jam on their toast in the morning was a treat for the convalescing students. Club records reveal that this annual donation of jams continued into the 1960s, with mothers donating 300 jars of jam for students at Alpine House.

In the 1970s, David Packard donated apricots from his orchard to the club for making jam, which was sold to support the club's scholarship fund. A provision in his will continues to grant the Stanford Parents' Club at least four lugs of apricots each summer. Often we get 8 to 10 lugs! During this time, members, including moms and dads, gather for two fun-filled days of jam-making.

In 1994, David Packard approached the Club to see if they could also make jam from his Damson plums, in addition to apricots. Thirty jars were made and given to the Packards in gratitude for their yearly apricot donations. The apricot jam was sold to members and at boutiques. Financial records indicate that the club earned between $1,200 and $5,000 per year from jam sales. The recipe was included in Club cookbooks for all to enjoy.

During the pandemic, when it would have been impossible to cook jam inside someone’s kitchen, the orchard provided dried apricots. Club members bagged these while sitting outside at a member's home.

In June, members of the Parents' Club will gather at someone’s home to make jam. The date will be announced once the Packard orchardist determines when the apricots will be ripe, typically toward the end of June or the beginning of July. Make sure to sign up to be on the list to receive an invitation to join the jam-making fun.

Photos courtesy of Stanford Historical Photograph Collection

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