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Jelly

Preserving Journal 2011

Here in Southern Ontario the window of availability for most produce worth preserving is just a few weeks long. That makes it difficult to refine recipes unless you keep a good journal that gets updated every year. What’s a blog for if not that sort of thing? So, here is my 2011 preserving round up post. (My instalment from 2009 can be found here.)

Wild Grape-Wild Apple, Hawthorn, and Wild Grape jelly.

Wild Grape-Wild Apple, Hawthorn, and Wild Grape jelly.

The Jellies: I was sceptical about whether these were worth the input in time and ingredients but they really are cool to look at and taste delicious. Also, the apple jelly (which I neglected to photograph) took home a ribbon from the Beaverton Fall Fair. For texture and taste the wild apple-wild grape was best. Small jars are key. Next year: Concentrate on recipes containing apple. (more…)

Off to the Fair

Today, a break from all the wine content (but please don’t forget to vote for my LCBO blog challenge entry) for a brief guide to entering your preserves for competition.

To be honest I had never done this before this year. So, take this as a rough beginner’s guide and not as expert and sage advice from on high.

I started my quest for a ribbon by asking We Sure Can! author Sarah Hood for her advice. Sarah was good enough to point me in the direction of fellow WSC contributors Shae Irving and Yvonne Tremblay. Yvonne is a five-time grand champion at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (“the big show” for fairs here in Southern Ontario) and Shae has a bunch of posts on her site Hitchhiking to Heaven about entering the Marin County Fair. These include results from this year and results from 2010 with her guide. (more…)

Hawthorn Jelly

Earlier this week I wrote a post about finding haws, the fruit of the hawthorn tree. The obvious next question is: Who eats these things?

Well, for one, native residents of Manitoulin Island do. As this post on Bill Casselman’s site and the wikipedia entry describe they are colloquially known as haweaters.  Folklore holds that the island’s early residents avoided scurvy by eating the vitamin C rich fruit.

In chattering about them on Twitter I had a bunch of people tell me that haws are available as a delicious candy in China.

They also make an excellent jelly. If you are careful to choose haws whose texture is firm, not mushy, they should have enough natural pectin to set without adding any extra.

I’ve never made jelly before, let alone from wild fruit, so I’m going to spread my impressions between this post and another on the grape-apple jelly I made. (more…)