I will be back at the Millarville Market in my regular spot this coming Saturday, August 29th. I am happy to be coming back and have my face mask and industrial strength sanitizer at the ready. Hope to see some of you there.
I will not be at Millarville until at least mid-August. In the meantime, for those of you who would like some jam, I am delivering to Calgary and environs. I drop the jam on your doorstep and so far, most everyone has been arranging payment through e-transfer. If you would like to order some jam, it’s probably more convenient to email me at email@example.com. You can also text me your order on my cell – 403.809.9511.
Take care and I hope I get to see you all in person soon.
Hooray. Hooray. It’s the First of May.
Hello everyone: The Millarville Market will resume in the middle of June. Until then, I am happy to either deliver or to have you come and pick jam up. If I deliver, I drop on your doorstep and ring the bell. If you come here (and some people want to because they need to get out of the house for a drive somewhere, anywhere), I will leave on my front step. Generally, people e-transfer me the money although if you want to pay cash, that is acceptable to me. Let me know if you want to order jam for delivery or pickup. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Making the Juice:
Take 5 pounds of choke cherries and place in a pan. Cover with enough water to sink them all. A good way to measure is to put your finger into the water and touch the choke cherries. The water should be no higher than the first joint of your finger.
Bring water to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for an hour with the lid on. About 30 minutes in, take a potato masher and mash the berries a bit.
When done, turn the contents into a large sieve and drain for an hour.
If you have less choke cherries, don’t worry. Just add water in the same way. The goal is to get at least 3 cups of juice.
Measure the following into a pot:
3 cups of strained juice
6 1/2 cups of sugar (yes, that’s right, 6 1/2 cups). If you put less in, your jelly will not set. Sugar binds to the water molecules and the pectin which gives you set and stops spoiling.
Bring to a hard boil and leave at that boil for 2 full minutes.
Empty 2 packages Certo liquid pectin into the pot and bring to another boil. Take off the heat and let sit for 4-5 minutes. This makes it easier to skim off the foam that invariably develops. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal.
You can process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Do not do this for any longer or you will ruin your set (jelly is delicate)
Note: Most recipes say to barely cover the berries in water and then cook only for 15 minutes. This has given me not enough juice and also a burned taste. Also, the pectin package and all online recipes I found said to boil the juice/sugar for 1 minute and add pectin. I live in Calgary, altitude 3300 feet. I think that makes a difference and the added minute of boiling removes just that much more water to enable you to get a set.
I found this in the Joy of Cooking:
Given our cultural predilection for breeding the most uniform, shelf stable, and prettiest fruits and vegetables, it’s a wonder the quince has survived our agricultural fervor.
Quinces are knobby and irregular, like lumpy pears. They are a bit drab-looking and neglected and are prone to patches of rot. Their flesh is pale and grainy–much like the flesh of a pear, but far more pronounced. They do not soften as they ripen, and they cannot be eaten like an apple, for their flesh is highly astringent, making them unpleasant to eat out of hand.
Hearing all this, you may think, indeed, why has the quince, a highly inhospitable specimen, survived the quest for “ideal” fruit? I can only attribute the quince’s staying power to the inexplicable inertia of longevity. The quince has played part in humankind’s orchard for centuries at least. The quince was Paris’s offering to Aphrodite, and Apicius’s ancient Roman cookbook contains recipes for stewing quince with honey. If quinces have one thing going for them, it is time.
But in fact, quinces have quite a lot more than just time going for them. A bowl of quince can perfume a whole room with their delicate, floral scent. In Jane Grigson’s Fruit Book, she even suggests placing some in the bedroom or living room, and states that in earlier times, quince were often stored with linens. Quince is doubtless a much finer scent than nose-numbing sachets of cinnamon potpourri.
This heady fragrance is not just skin deep. The flavor of cooked quince is much like a rose or violet. And indeed, along with apples and pears, quinces belong to the same horticultural family as the rose. To be perfectly honest, the proper words to describe the flavor of quince elude me. My first exploratory nibble of quince jelly flooded my tastebuds with aromatic notes of rose, and ripe apple and pear. Beyond that, there are ineffable aromas that perhaps only a parfumier could elucidate. But I think it is just that–the mysterious and subtle flavor of the quince–that so enthralls me.
Further, quince, not unlike the Horse of A Different Color from the land of Oz, changes color. Like cut apples or pears, quince will oxidize and brown once the flesh is exposed to the air, but as you cook quince–either by roasting, simmering, or stewing–its nondescript, cottony white interior turns pink. If you continue to cook quince past the pink stage, it attains an almost ruby red or magenta hue. It is, in a word, gorgeous.
Quince needs some coaxing to attain its full splendor, but it is more than worth the effort, as is the case with many stubborn but delicious foods (artichokes, I’m looking at you). There are many ways to cook quince. Most recently, I have seen recipes for Quince Tarte Tatin and a Quince-Apple Tart, but my favorite thing to do with special fruit is to preserve it.
I am not much of a jelly-maker. I have long preferred the chunky, rustic texture of preserves and compotes over strangely smooth jellies, but I do see their appeal. They are refined and feel a bit fancier than preserves. Indeed, they have an air of something fit for a formal tea service, although this is perhaps my own flight of fancy, having never been served formal tea before.
And quince jelly seems particularly suited for tea, owing to its delicate pink hue and subtle but distinct floral flavor. But I’ll settle for simply spreading it on toast or serving it with soft cheeses. Quince jelly is a good one for beginners to make, as quinces are full of pectin, which means that it doesn’t take long to reach the jelling point, and you don’t have to worry about adding additional pectin.
Good morning Jam Lovers!!! I stumbled upon the last 5 pounds of Damson Plums at Souto’s down at the Crossroads Market on Sunday. I had never used these before but people who know these plums, love the jam. I must say, it’s really good. I only made a small amount and have 6 jars for sale. If you want some, please let me know ASAP and I’ll put it aside for you.
I now have Crabapple Jelly again after managing to swoop in and pick the apples just a day ahead of the snow and ice. It’s gorgeous, red and you can read through it (I’m given to hyperbole).
I also have Crabapple Butter for those who were asking for it.
I have been remiss at posting in here – too busy making jam I suppose.
I wanted to let people know that I have been busy stocking up again and have amended the product list so that you knew what jams I have back in stock now – these include some big favourites such as Green Fig, Strawberry Rhubarb, and Creme de Cassis.
It’s been a big day at Jam Goddess. I sat with Jim Cuddy at a charity event in Edmonton 2 years ago and asked if I could name a jam after Blue Rodeo. This year, I sent the band 4 jars. They were nice enough to post a photo and a thank you on their website. Is it wrong of me to brag, just a bit?
Here’s the link:
Recently, a young friend of mine recorded an interview with me for a class project. This is the most excellent result. He managed to condense 20 minutes of my yakking into a compact 2 minutes – I think he did a great job. Here it is if you would care to listen: Audio Production Assignment 1_mixdown-1