June 26, 2014 at 1:00 am

Good stuff: Local jam, Oxo tomato slicer, banana rum

Gus and Grey)

One good jam

Tara Grey of Ferndale began making apricot jam about five years ago when she was living in Brooklyn, New York. Now sheís brought her incredible talents for creating both sweet and savory jams to Detroit. I met her at the Birmingham Farmersís Market and sampled many of her wares, Gus and Grey Hand Crafted Delights, settling on Funky Monkey ó a banana jam that defies description (you just have to try it). She uses local produce (recently picked 50 pounds of rhubarb) and products (Pioneer Sugar). But her best ingredient is her imagination, with her 30-plus flavors including Floozie (peach bourbon vanilla), Notorious F.I.G (brandied fig), Hubba Hubba (raspberry habanero) and Teachers Pet (Apple Butter). Look for Gus and Grey jams at the Birmingham Market most Sundays or DeVries in Eastern Market and Grand Traverse Pie Company in Plymouth. Prices range from $5.95-$7.

One good tool

Cherry tomato season is almost here and youíll want to make quick work of slicing and cutting them with ease. The latest tool from OXO is the Good Grips Grape and Small Tomato Cutter and Good Grips Grape and Small Tomato Slicing Guide. The Guide allows you to slice up the small fruit (kumquats, pitted cherries and olives, as well as grapes and cherry tomatoes) one cup at a time using a serrated knife quickly and safely while the Cutter quarters small fruits in seconds. Available in July at major retailers for $11.90 each.

One good rum

Blue Chair Bay Rum has added to its popular portfolio of rums in time for summer. Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum joins the brandís original White, Coconut and Coconut Spiced varieties, created by singer-songwriter Kenny Chesney. Iím not a fan of his music, but the rum is fantastic. Made and mellowed in casks in the Caribbean, itís a taste of vacation. Available at Meijer, Kroger, Holiday Market, Market Square and many other outlets, for $18.99 for a 750 ml bottle. Use it to create this banana cocktail: Combine 1 ounce Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum with 1 ounce pineapple juice in an ice-filled highball glass. Top with club soda; garnish with lime wedge.