February 2014 - #8
Greetings from the Frozen North--
Let's Make Jam!
Photo from UnofficialNetworks.com
We at Pomona's hope that you are surviving this historic winter. For a little diversion from shoveling snow, we bring you some great jam recipes.
Allison Carroll Duffy, from Maine, brings us Cold Comfort Jelly; and Becky Hoff, from Minnesota, shares recipes for Rose Hip Jam and Jam Cake -- perfect for Valentine's Day.
CanningCraft Creates: Cold Comfort Jelly
by Allison Carroll Duffy
When I was a kid, whenever my siblings or I were in bed with a cough, sore throat, or otherwise nasty cold, my stepmom would make us a big mug of honey-lemon-ginger "tea." Nothing more than boiling water and lemon juice infused with ginger root and sweetened with a bit of honey, it was a simple concoction, but it provided welcome comfort -- at least a little bit -- when we were sick.
When I met my husband, I learned that he had long relied on a similar anti-cold brew that also included garlic and cayenne pepper . . . Because we drink this tea a lot, I thought it would be handy to adapt it into a jelly -- a tea "concentrate" of sorts. . . .
Read More and Get the Cold Comfort Jelly Recipe Here.
Harmony Garden Club: Learn, Jam, Eat
by Becky Hoff
The first snowfall in Harmony coincided with the November meeting of the Club this year. Harmony, a small town in SE Minnesota, population 1,020, is known as “The Biggest Little Town in Southern Minnesota.” In warm months, tourists bike on the Harmony-Preston Valley State Bike Trail, take tours of Niagara Cave, and learn about the Harmony-Canton Amish, an old order Amish community living in the country near Harmony. (Check out www.exploreharmony.com if you are curious about our town!) Becky at the Garden Club
We meet once a month to discuss all things garden related: vegetable gardening, fruit trees, landscaping, straw bale gardening, cooking with fresh herbs, garden art -- you name it, we’ve talked about it. The club serves as a study group for those who want to learn about and promote amateur gardening. As a member for the last three years, I can testify that I have learned a lot from the wealth of knowledge and talent in this group! So I was quite flattered when asked to lead a discussion on home canning.
All levels of canning expertise were represented in the room. Some have been canning for years, others used to but don’t anymore, and still others have never tried. Regardless of experience level, I tell everyone the same thing when I talk about canning: Read your instructions and do as they say!
This may seem simple but so many mistakes can be prevented if you read through your recipes and instructions before even turning on the stove. It is equally important to have your tools and ingredients laid out and ready so you are not scrambling around when it’s time to fill the jars.
I love to talk about low-sugar canning. People want homemade preserves like their mom or grandma used to make, but they don’t want the 5 or more cups of sugar that go into a typical batch of jam. Traditional recipes were developed at a time when sugar was needed to help preserve the food, but also more calories were burned through the course of a day. We just don’t need that kind of caloric intake these days! Fortunately we can get away with using a lot less sugar thanks to new products and modern canning processes.
Becky's Canning Shelves
If you don’t want to go overboard on the sugar, I recommend Pomona’s Universal Pectin. Over the past few years I have switched exclusively to Pomona’s for all of my jam making. The jams turn out great, and no one even notices that the sugar is cut at least in half. The end products in no way remind you of “diet jam,” they are just plain good preserves.
In Garden Club we traditionally end the evening with coffee and dessert, and so I made a Rombauer Jam Cake from the classic cookbook, Joy of Cooking. I made it with Blueberry Jam instead of the usual Raspberry or Blackberry -- Blue Spice Cake never tasted so good! I also made a batch of Any Kind of Jam & Oatmeal Bars with a combination of Rose Hip and RhubyRazz jams.
Becky's Blueberry and RhubyRazz Jams
I love sharing information, ideas, and good food with friends. And I’m very happy to share my recipes for Rose Hip Jam, Blue Spice Rombauer Jam Cake, and Any Kind of Jam & Oatmeal Bars with all Pomona’s Jam Notes readers. Hope you have as much fun learning, jamming, and eating as we do at the Harmony Garden Club.
We are working on a new page for our website: My Jam Didn't Jell -- How Can I Fix It?
If you'd like to volunteer to read our draft and give us feedback, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preserving with Pomona's Pectin makes a wonderful gift for yourself, a friend, or family member, any time of the year. If you like Pomona's, you'll LOVE our book.
Available everywhere books are sold.
New recipes have been added to our website recently. Here are a few:
Red Wine Jelly
White Wine Jelly
Ground Cherry Jam
Apple Pie Jam
We hope you enjoyed this issue of Jam Notes. We are always interested in any comments, questions, or ideas you'd like to share with us: email@example.com.