While you’re cooling your heels and waiting for that 5 feet of snow in the backyard to melt before the rhubarb even has a chance to pop up, may I suggest a jam exchange?
Jam exchanges are a great way to share ideas on packaging and flavour combinations and it’s just plain fun. I first found Christina from Beeloved Jams when doing some random Google search on preserves. Up popped a newspaper article and I read about a talented, tattooed, toddler-mama who makes her own preserves. On a whim, I emailed, introduced myself as a fellow toddler-mama, lightly-tattoed preserver and from there, we arranged our first exchange.
I was delighted to receive my package today. Christina surprised me with some homemade soap (Fuzzy Navel…yum!) and three homemade chapsticks with some edible flavours like Bubble Gum (for my daughter, how sweet is that?!), Pineapple and Tangerine and Caramel. She sells these along with her preserves at her local market.
Now that I’ve sampled her preserves and tried out her lipchap, I know why newspapers are writing about her!
I have big plans for my preserves and even made a batch of whole wheat and maple scones just so I could sample all this goodness. First opened was the Molten Marmalade, which is simply amazing. At first you get the sweet, citrus flavour you expect from a marmalade. It’s followed up by this amazing warmth from the Habeneros. It’s not mouth-burning hot, just a warming heat that makes this marmalade pop and stand out from your run-of-the-mill marmalade. The Blazin’ Glory will be delicious over some cheese and crackers and I have no doubt the Organic Blueberry (pictured in the centre) jam on a scone will make the perfect dessert.
So, if you love canning and have a few canners out there you’ve been admiring, why not try an exchange? At best, you expand your repertoire and get some feedback on your own preserves. At worst, you eat some tasty jams. It’s a win-win!