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?