My family moved to a farm when I was 12.  Living in a "traditional" home, I was "drafted" into assisting with canning and freezing vegetables for many years.  I HATED it...  It's only been in the last few years that I've wanted to initiate that cycle for myself.  I started with something simple, freezer jam, and have progressed from there.

I actually entered a couple of items in the North Carolina State Fair for the first time in 2012 and won Best in Show and a Blue Ribbon for my Sour Cherry Preserves.  I picked the cherries, too, so my commitment to freshness and local produce is evident.  In 2013, I won a Blue Ribbon for my Pepper Relish, demonstrating I can do more than make sweets.

DSCN2685.jpg

It's become a bit of an obsession.  There are fruits available throughout the year that are perfect for a variety of jams, marmalades and preserves.  I'm working my way through the ten or so bags of cranberries I put in the freezer during the Christmas holiday;  last week, I made Spiced Cranberry Jam with Grand Marnier.  I've also been working on a variety of pink grapefruit marmalades, based on the gorgeous fruit our friends brought from Florida.  And, I'm trying to resist buying clementines, but Clementine and Whiskey Marmalade I make is so delicious...

1st Place, 2015 NC State Fair.

1st Place, 2015 NC State Fair.

 

UPDATE!

Another good year for cherries. Thanks so much to friends Don and Rosemary for bringing sour cherries back from Levering Orchard.

 

Why do I love this so much?

  • Nothing says "I care" like something you've made yourself.
  • What better way to control the quality of what you eat than by making it yourself?
  • The sound of jars sealing is SO satisfying.

The variety is endless:

  • Strawberry Jam with Black Pepper and Balsamic
  • Pear and Ginger Jam
  • Pink Grapefruit Marmalade
  • Sour Cherry Preserves (also good with some almond extract)
  • Black Mission Fig Preserves
  • Peach Jam
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Preserves