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Farmers’ Market Spotlight: Jellies like you’ve never seen before

June 10, 2021   ·   0 Comments

Tired of the traditional raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry jam?

Stephanie Matthews, of My Grandmother’s Farm, in New Lowell, produces some amazing jellies with ingredients you may not have thought could go into making the spread you like to put on your toast every morning.

Stephanie makes the traditional type jellies, but then her line-up of products gets pretty wild.

“I do everything from pickles to jams,” Stephanie said of the product she brings to the Alliston Rurban Farmer’s Market every Saturday. “There’s relishes, jellies, and we also make our own bread and we sell our pork as well.”

Stephanie has been coming to the Farmer’s Market for four years, but she’s spent a lifetime learning how to preserve and make pickles, jams, and jellies.

“I’ve been doing it on my own for eight or nine years, but before that I did it with my grandmother,” Stephanie explained, adding that her pickles aren’t just the garden variety cucumbers in dill. “I do everything from picked garlic, pickled peppers, carrots, beans, and I did radishes last year.”

Making pickles takes a lot of experimenting and perfecting a recipe that will complement the vegetable being pickled.

“I do a different brine with everything,” Stephanie explained. “I try to find spice that will complement the vegetable you are pickling. For example, my asparagus, there’s mustard, dill, and fresh ground pepper to give it a bit of a bite. There’s a lot of trial and error. When I want to pickle something, I’ll find five or six different recipes then figure out what I think will go best with it, then change it up a bit. I customize them all myself.”

A look at her line of jams and jellies reveals some colours you haven’t seen on a grocery store shelf.

My from green to light pink, the jellies all take on the colour of the main ingredient.

There’s wild violet, lilac, spruce tip, crab apple, black currant, red currant, and dandelion jellies. She also does a seasonal rose and red clover jelly.

The jellies take on the aroma and flavour of the flowers.

Stephanie grows many of the flowers she uses right on her farm.

The result is a line-up of jams, jellies, and pickles that are very unique, full of flavour, and made locally.

Stephanie is at the Alliston Rurban Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

By Brian Lockhart
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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