Summer Settled Its Sweetness in Sunflower Sundries Jams
Savoring Kentucky sends frequent air kisses from downtown Lexington in the direction of Mt. Olivet, Kentucky, because something we just ate -- a bite of handmade mustard, a taste of hand-picked wild blackberry jam -- tastes so fine we want to honor the source. Near Mt. Olivet, at Sunflower Sundries, the artisanal company she founded in 1992, Jennifer Gleason practices her arts of concentrating flavors and goodness both savory and sweet into little jars that travel well. Then, hospitably, she offers homemade herbal soap to wash off any happy stickiness.
We admire and use her mustards most days of the week. When a certain member of our household moved away from Kentucky recently -- what was he thinking?? -- he seemed particularly concerned about the likely unavailability of Sunflower Sundries Hot Garlic Mustard in the Washington, DC area. (Fortunately for him, Sunflower Sundries ships!)
When Savoring Kentucky focused on those mustards in July, we got an intriguing email from Jennifer that you may find interesting. In the early part of our summer, we had both rain and sun, enough to produce a noteworthy berry crop in Kentucky.
"we are still picking WILD blackberries and have picked over 340 pounds, my husband and myself. we have already made over 100 jars of wild blackberry jam and it is the best ever! the berries are large and sweet this year due to the timely rain and the sun to sweeten them. it's as good as last year, maybe even better? the jam even has less sugar than usual because of the sweetness of the berries.
we also have for the first time in 18 years of business--->>>>>>>> WILD RED RASPBERRY Jam! We have never had access to enough wild red raspberries (usually just a handful) to make jam. some folks from Lewis County called us and they had a great patch of berries and picked over 14 gallons! We bought them all and made jam. i couldn't believe the beauty of the berries, they have no cloudy/blush like cultivated red raspberries, so each berry reflects the light in complex ways that sparkle and shine like ruby jewels. what a rare treat, and the seeds are smaller than the cultivated cousin as well.
we keep harvesting rhubarb all summer and had a good harvest of gooseberries and black currants all made into jam. our four freezers are completely full of local fruit, so i've been making jam triple time to free up some space for the harvest still to come."
Savoring Kentucky has the most eager interest in the 2010 vintage blackberry and red raspberry jams. Perhaps you do, too. You may find Sunflower Sundries products in quite a few Kentucky locations. I usually buy from them from Elmwood Stock Farm's stand at the Lexington Farmers Market, or from Good Foods Market. It's great to have the website's ordering information as a backup plan.
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The world is coming to visit central Kentucky this year for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. To help our visitors know more about Kentucky's food and food ways, Savoring Kentucky is rolling out 116 Savory Kentucky Bites, one for each of the 100 days before WEG begins, and 16 for the days during WEG, September 25 - October 10. Today's Savory Bite is number 92.