August is here and that means it’s officially jam, jelly and relish-making season.
Are you Suzy Homemaker who whips up a great jam each year or will this be the year you make your first batch?
Either way, MilitaryShoppers has everything you need to know about making your own jam, jelly and relish.
First of all, what’s in season? Make sure you know which fruits and vegetables are in season before you start looking at recipes and head to the commissary.
August is rich with fresh fruits perfect for turning into delicious jams and jellies.
Blackberries, blueberries, apples, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries and strawberries are all ripe and ready for you. While apple season is just kicking off, blueberries are on their way out. If you plan on canning blueberries, this might be your last chance this year.
The two most popular fruits, strawberries and raspberries, will be around until November so there is plenty of time left for them. Blackberries will be in season through October, but the big juicy ones that grow in the south are already gone. Don’t worry; you can still find great ones from Oregon (the leading blackberry producer in America).
My parents own Blackberry Hill Alpacas farm in Alabama and while it is an alpaca farm, there are numerous wild blackberry bushes growing (hence the name). My mom dons jeans, long sleeves, gloves and lots of sunscreen to venture into those prickly bushes each June to collect blackberries for her jam.
I recommend skipping the torment of sweating in the heat, being bitten by who knows what, poked with thorns and sunburned and just go to the commissary and buy a few pints to make your jam.
Everyone has their own story to tell about their jam, which makes it that much more special. Whether it’s how you handpicked the berries, the mischief the kids got into while you were mashing them or the mess you made while doing it, there’s always a story behind the jam. That’s probably one of the reasons why it has become so popular to make your own these days.
You can venture out with your own recipes, try one passed down from grandma or go with a new one from your fellow MilitaryShoppers readers.
Interested in freezing jam? Brandi Thomas submitted her recipe for freezer jam. Strawberry jam is by far the most popular; there’s nothing quite like the aroma of strawberries in the kitchen. Try this strawberry jam recipe for something new.
Looking for something to do with the jam you make, besides spreading it on toast? Put a smile on your family’s face with a jam cake topped with brown sugar icing. They will thank you for making such a treat. All jams and jellies aren’t sweet though. Nicole Cloutier has a great recipe for raspberry jalapeno jelly that will get you going in the morning.
This season isn’t entirely about the fruit though. Once you’ve made jam or jelly, try relish. Did you plant a vegetable garden this year? If you’re tired of making salads, use your abundance of cucumbers for relish. Patti Osteen has a recipe that uses 24 cucumbers. That will take care of most of your harvest or at least a good bit. If you want to get a head start on holiday planning, test out some fall recipes now. Spicy cranberry relish is a great starter.
Wondering how these readers got their recipes on MilitaryShoppers? Did you know you can submit your own recipe? You can post them and one winner is chosen each month to receive a $50 commissary shopping spree. How sweet is that? My challenge to you is not only to make your own jam, jelly or relish this year, but to post your creation to the site and share with others tips for making it.
If you’re looking for visual help and step-by-step instructions on how to make jam, Allrecipes has a great tutorial.