White Tea Key Lime Raspberry Preserve

I have never been able to drink any beverage with the word tea in the name.  It is difficult for me to not spit tea out.  Horrible, horrible stuff.

But key lime stuff is usually very good.  And Raspberries are fantastic.

So Debby and I were traveling home from out northeast a few years ago and we stopped I don’t know where but I’m thinking it was far west New York near Pennsylvania.

I browsed the preserves.  And there it was:  White Tea Key Lime Raspberry Preserve made by Cherchies in Malvern, PA.  I almost didn’t get it due to white tea being not only in the name, but first!!  On the other hand, it was only $5 (at that time) for 13.5 oz and there was the key lime and raspberry part.

So I bought it.  I’m a bit more adventurous than I used to be.

Outstanding preserves.  Great flavor that is completely different than anything I’ve ever had.  Not just different, but good different. It’s been awhile since I ran out so I can’t be more specific.  But I sure was sorry when I ran out.

I can’t wait to be out that way again.  I’ll be stocking up a bit the next time I find the stuff.

Maybe I’ll even break down and order some one of these days.

Wilson Farms Jam

I forget what it was Debby and I were doing in that part of Indiana earlier this summer when we happened upon Wilson Farm Market.  Well, we were driving around to see what we might see when we happened upon the market.  I simply do not remember why we were in that part of the state.

Anyways.  We stopped at the market and looked around, Debby looking for fresh fruits and vegetables and I, seeing food in jars started looking for the jams.

I bought one jar of Red Raspberry Jam with No Granulated Sugars Added.  It has only five grams of sugar and the ingrediant list shows red raspberries (always nice to see the fruit come in first!), white grape concentrate, pectin,  and water.  And it cost $4.99 for 18 ounces!

And the next time we are down that way, I’ll buy more.  Excellent jam.  Not at all too sweet.  The bulk of the jam consisted of bits of raspberry still intact and had a good flavor of red raspberries.  If you like red raspberries, I don’t know how you would not like this jam.

The only nit I would pick is the amount of water added.  Not that the product is thin particularly, but I think it could be thicker than it was.

Wilson Farms raspberry jam label
Wilson Farms raspberry jam label

Sunday Drive to Wine

Yesterday, Debby and I took a Sunday drive to check out a couple of Indiana wineries.   Visiting wineries is one of our favorite things to do.  I have only recently developed a taste for wine and I certainly lack the vocabulary to discuss wine, but why should that stop me?

We started out at Wilson Wines “in” Modoc, Indiana.  I say “in” because I did not see any towns in the vicinity of the winery.   The winery does not look like much as one drives past an assortment of outbuildings to get to the winery, which mostly looks like just another outbuilding.   A friendly, polite but not overly talkative gentleman showed us the wine list: eight whites, three reds, and seven fruit and non traditional wines.

We tasted five wines.   We liked the Seyval Blanc (dry white), the Autumn White (semi-dry) and the Marechal Foch (semi-sweet).   Well, I liked the first two and Debby liked the last two.  If you like those kinds of wine, I can’t believe you would not like these.

The American Riesling was OK.  I have had a few rieslings that I thought were OK, but this one didn’t quite do it for me.  Debby liked it better than I.

We also tasted the Indian Trail Red (dry).  It had quite a strong flavor (lots of tannins we were told) and was not to our taste.

I lack the vocabulary and I have a limited palette, but we’ve been to a lot of wineries over the past few years and Wilson Wines are as good as any others we’ve had.   It is a bit out of the way, but worth the trip. We bought two bottles, the Autumn White and the Marechal Foch.

Then we went to Madison County Winery at 10942 S. 400 East, Markleville, Indiana (again, not really in the town).  This winery opened for business just over six months ago (January 9, 2009).  The tasting room in an outbuilding at Wilson Wines is fancy next to the tasting room in a mobile home at Madison County Winery.  But facilities take money and he’s just starting out.  The web site is not all that impressive, either.

I believe that we dealt with the propriator, Eric Hensley.  He is friendly and passionate about the winery.  The selections are limited, particularly on the dry side, but he plans to add more wines over time.  We tried a (dry? semi dry?) Mead.  We found it interesting, but not quite to our taste (being a mead, we didn’t expect to like it).  We also tried a sem-sweet red that was a blend of two grapes (I think one of them was niagara grapes).  It was interesting also.  Maybe a bit too sweet for me.  Both had what I think were distinctive flavors.

If you are looking for wines that are not just another white or red, this may be worth the trip for you.  Debby and I look forward to the day when his selection is wider and we can get back there.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

A few years ago (I really have no idea how many, three? four? five maybe?), I abandoned the practice of eating lunch out.  I used to eat out five days a week, but it got to the point that I could no longer afford to do so.

I started “brownbagging” it.  A cooler, several cans of caffeine free Coca-Cola, and two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  The first jelly was what I found in the fridge, Welch’s Grape Jelly.  Then a few jars of Smuckers.

Over time, when Debby and I did any traveling, I started buying jars of jam at various gift shops, wineries and other retail stores that we stopped in.  As the cans of Coca-Cola decreased with bottles of water replacing them, I also began to learn what I wanted in a jam.

I much prefer preserves to jelly;  I like to have some pieces of fruit in the jam.  I learned that if the sugars were over ten grams in a tablespoon, it would be too sweet (today there is only water in the cooler, no Coca-Cola….not even in the house!).  Also, I avoid any jam that lists corn syrup or any thing like it in the ingrediants.   I also prefer that the ingrediant list begins with the appropriate fruit and the fewer ingrediants the better.

Two weekends ago, Debby had a weekend with her daughter in St. Louis.  One of the places they went to was the Missouri Botanical Garden.  While there, Debby, being the loving, thoughtful person she alway is, bought a jar of jam for me.  She checked the label.  No corn syrup and 2 grams of sugar per serving.

It did not take long for me to check the nutrition label when Debby gave me the preserves.  “Two grams of sugar…gee, that might not be sweet enough,” I thought to myself.  But I had just recently finished off a jar of jam that had only five grams of sugar and it was excellent.  So I looked forward to trying my new preserves.

Just a couple of days later, I finished the jar I was using and opened my new preserves.  I made the second sandwich with the new stuff, the first sandwich with the last of the previous jar.  Then I licked the knife.

It tasted very sweet.

When I ate the sandwiches, I knew immediately when I bit into the one with the Missouri Botanical Garden Blackberry Preserves.  It was sweet.  Very sweet.  Too sweet.

There is no way in heck that those preserves have only two grams of sugar per serving.  That jar is so sweet, I can’t even believe that the two is a misprint for twelve.  Twenty one maybe.  It is not edible.

I will further comment that the preserves have a texture more akin to jelly than to preserves.  There is little if any pieces of fruit.   It is hard for me to judge due to the overwhelming sweetness, but the blackberry flavor that I think I maybe can detect is good.

I wonder if Debby can get her money back?