The end of January 2014 closes out our official 2nd year as a specialty food producer. This past year has been nothing but up for us. Tall Dark and Handsome (aka Walter) and I spent the latter half of the year cranking out the jams to the tune of +1000 hand poured jars per week.
When there are just two of us making the same flavors over and over again you build a special relationship with them. Here and there, on my arm, and even my chin! I have a few new “freckles” where the rolling boil sent hot jelly spattering. Some of the worst days of the year and some of the very best days of the year were spent in the kitchen. We are grateful for each and every one of them and look forward to another crazy year.
Drumroll please…….. I would like to announce our top flavors for 2013!
6. Pineapple Habañero – made single handed by TDH. Not currently available for wholesale, those in the know scoop up jars by the armload when they see it. Our most requested flavor at markets, fairs, and shows, the spice level is not for the faint of heart. A sweet pineapple kiss with a bold habañero kick.
5. Green Mountain Ale – Vermont Beer Jelly. Did you know that the Green Mountain Club was founded to establish and maintain the Long Trail? This hiking trail runs across the state of Vermont from the Massachusetts state line to the Canadian border. As it happens, just down the trail from us is Long Trail Brewing who’s signature beer is the key ingredient for this mild beery jelly. Pair this Vermont beer jelly to show off aged Vermont cheese from the Cellars at Jasper Hill for a truly Vermont nosh.
4. Carrot Cake Jam – everything but the flour and eggs! Shredded carrots, coconut, and raisins make this thick jam practically healthy so don’t feel bad about using this as a pastry filling, over ice cream, or on cream cheese and bagels. The rich texture of this jam with warm flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg will make eating from the jar hard to resist.
3. Oatmeal Stout – deep, rich & dark. Made with Wolaver’s Organic Oatmeal Stout this beer jelly’s strong flavor stands up well to roasts. Use over roasted potatoes, on short-ribs, or pair with smoked meats and buttery cheeses for an epic munchie fest.
2. Spiced Wine – like Christmas in a jar. Burgundy wine simmered with cinnamon, nutmeg, & clove gives this jelly its warm holiday flavor. Not just for celebrations, this wine jelly made tasters swoon all year long. Dress baked brie for easy entertaining or impress your guests with easier-than-you-thought Wine Jelly Poached Pears.
1. Black IPA- bold, hoppy & fruity. Made with Otter Creek’s Black IPA this jelly always gets a wow! The hops in the beer give this jelly such a distinct ‘beer’ flavor that the first bite of this jelly might confuse you. By the 5th bite you don’t care if is beer or jelly you just need a bigger spoon!! Pair this jelly with blue cheese, sharp cheddar, cured meats, apples, and pretzels for a party platter. But to really tickle your taste buds use Black IPA beer jelly to make Sticky Beer Jelly Glazed Chicken Wings.
Check out these other great Vermont brands!
- Cellars at Jasper Hill – cave aged cheese. The war in our house is between Cabot Clothbound Cheddar and Baley Hazen blue.
- Long Trail Brewing – Head to the visitor center bar for a pour of the latest Brown Bag Series. Friendly, knowledgeable staff pouring great beer.
- Wolaver’s Organic Brewing – excellent organic beer year round with outstanding seasonals like the Wildflower Wheat and Alta Gracia Coffee Porter