Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mmm, Jellies

There are few things in life that give me so much pure pleasure as native jams, jellies and preserves. A New England wild blueberry or quince, a Mid-Atlantic crabapple or blackberry, a luscious Pacific Northwest cherry or tart apple, a fiery sweet Southwest pepper jelly; all are divine. For me though there is one undisputed queen of Southern regional treats:

Mayhaw Jelly. These little red hawthorne berries come in to season in May in swampy boggy areas of East Texas, Louisiana and Georgia and are completely inedible raw. But! let a Southern Nana or MeeMaw or Great Auntie loose on them, and they become the most delectable treat imaginable.

Today I am in search of Mayhaw berries for canning next month. I'm not much of a jelly maker, but since I now have to choose between making my own sugar-free jellies or doing without, you can believe I will be honing my jelly skills this summer. Wish me luck!