Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Crazy good! Homemade Cherry Jam

Cherry pie is thought to be utterly All-American; as the Fourth approaches, we don’t have cherry pie to serve our guests, but we do have Cherry Jam! I’m not sure I ever remember Hubby extolling any food I’ve put in front of him quite like he did this homemade Cherry Jam that I recently served him over biscuits. I got out my jars and jar lids, sterilized them, and saved some of the jam for a future date. This upcoming weekend we’ll open some of my put-by jam and enjoy it all over again.

Making jam has never been so simple as with this recipe, from “Celebrating a Healthy Harvest”. Two cups of cherries, pitted and chopped, went into a quart pan with powdered pectin, lemon juice, almond flavoring, and spices. After this boils fully, add sugar and let that cook for 3 minutes. One wonders from whence the liquid to make the jam will emerge, since the only liquid you’ve added has been 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Not to worry. As the pectin and the cherries combine over the heat, the juice from the cherries multiplies as they cook down. When you skim the foam off the top of the mixture and pour it into hot, sterilized canning jars, you’ll be surprised at how much it makes—about 3 cups.

You’ll think you’re eating cherry pie filling when you spoon into your first jar of jam and dish out servings onto biscuits, toast, or waffles. When Hubby asked what kinds of foods I was planning for the July 4th weekend and I told him we’d be dipping into more Cherry Jam, from his reaction you’d have thought he’d been given the entire fireworks store!

One note: although I almost always use sugar substitute in recipes I try, I played it straight this time and left in the regular sugar. Although one definitely can make jams and jellies with sugar substitute, this time I didn’t want to chance it and stuck with the recipe’s exact ingredients—no subs. This means I’ll have to do more Hubby Patrol and make sure he doesn’t eat quite as much of it, but he can celebrate his freedom in other ways than over-indulging.

Cherry Jam

2 cups pitted cherries, chopped
1 ounce (half of a 2-ounce package) powdered pectin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups sugar

Place cherries, pectin, lemon, almond flavoring, and spices into a 6-quart pan. Bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add sugar; bring mixture to a full rolling boil and cook for 2 minutes. Skim foam off mixture and set aside. Pour cherry mixture into hot, sterilized jars. Leave 1/4-inch head space. Seal. Cool completely before you refrigerate. Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups of jam.

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