It’s that time again! Steph at Steph Chows is undertaking her annual jam exchange that I believe is in it’s third or fourth year. It has a wide pool of participants and is actually really simple: send Steph your contact information, whether you’d be willing to ship domestically or internationally and package up 2 jars of preserves. If you have a blog, fantastic! You can blog all about it, sharing what you sent and what you received. Not only is it a great way to connect with other canners, but it’s also fantastic in sharing ideas and broadening your horizons.
Last year, I was paired up with a woman in Toronto who sent me a lovely jar of Blueberry Thyme Jam and Bittersweet Marmalade and I sent her a Sour Cherry Walnut Conserve and Rosemary Apple Jelly. I’m excited to go through my pantry and decide what goodies to send this year.
Deadline is mid-August and all the information can be found here.
Jar Full of Yummy with Photo Spoiled by Rookie Photographer
Over at our sister site, 100 Mile Locavores, we’re involved with the Dark Days Challenge, which is where I met Norah, of Aagaard Farms in Brandon, Manitoba.
Canners have a way of finding each other and I’m glad I found Norah because we organized a swap: My Wild Blueberry with Grand Marnier and Carrot Apple Butter for Aagaard Farm’s Nanking Cherry Jelly and Grape Jelly, both from her own farm. Love local jams!
It’s always a great day when jams arrive in your mail box. I couldn’t wait to tuck into the Nanking Cherry Jelly and downing a big spoonful was the best way to celebrate the bright, straight-from-the-garden flavour. Cherry is the one flavour that always makes me smile. It was equally delicious stirred into yogurt and when my husband dolloped it on his scone, he proclaimed the jar his own.
I’m excited to tuck into the Grape Jelly and have no doubt it’s going to be just as great.
Nanking Cherry Jelly in Action
So if you’re in the Brandon, Manitoba area, take a peek at Aagaard farms. They offer CSA packages and if you manage to score some of their jelly, consider yourself very lucky!
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!
uncanny is participating in Steph Chow’s 2nd Annual Jam Exchange and is very excited! I will be exchanging one jar of our Rosemary Apple Cider Jelly and a jar of Sour Cherry and Walnut Conserve. This is a great opportunity for all you canners to share your talents and try some yummy sounding preserves.