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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mayhaw Jelly

Tomorrow is the Farmers Daughters Market at Dothan Nurseries on Montgomery Highway.  You can find us online at   I will have mayhaw, blackberry, and hot pepper jelly.  I will also have banana nut bread muffins.  Come get your fresh produce, homemade breads, frozen casseroles, local honey, tea cakes, cream cheese pound cake, and pecan treats.  Dothan Nurseries is a beautiful location for our market and J.D., Blue, and the rest of the staff are such gracious hosts.

When I was growing up, I have fond memories of going for visits to see my Granny King and PawPaw.  We would always have buttered toast with mayhaw jelly for breakfast.  When you're a little girl, you can't help but remember pink jelly.  I liked the taste of that pink jelly, too.   My parents have a wooded area behind their house in Tallahassee and there are mayhaw trees growing in the woods.  At one time, water gathered in the woods and the mayhaws produced quite well.  When my daddy told me about having mayhaw berries and about the ladies that came and gathered them, I asked him to please let me have them the next year to make Mayhaw Jelly.  He remembered and gathered them for me.  I made pink jelly for the first time and was so proud!  Water no longer gathers in their woods and the mayhaws are not producing.  About five years ago, we went to a local nursery and bought five mayhaw bushes and planted them.  We have woods beyond our fruit orchard and there is a cypress pond in the woods.  When we have a lot of rain, the water will run out of the woods into an area where there used to be a ditch.  Because the water table stays the highest in this area, we knew it would be a good place to plant the mayhaw trees without being in a pond.  Three of the five mayhaw bushes that we planted survived and are now mayhaw trees.  The weather has gotten warmer earlier this year and I am already gathering mayhaws.  I keep enough berries to make all of the mayhaw jelly that I want.  I sell the rest of the mayhaw berries to others who wish to have them to make jelly.  I guess I am still a little girl at heart because I still think pink jelly is special.

                                                      Mayhaw Jelly

1 gallon of mayhaws

Place washed berries in a large stock pot.  Cover the berries with water and allow them to come to a full rolling boil.  Remove the pot from the heat and allow the berries and water to completely cool.  I place a second large pot in my sink.   I put a large colander in the top of the pot.  I place a pillowcase in the colander and roll the excess down from the top.  I pour the mayhaws into the pillowcase and the water that the mayhaws cooked in drains through the pillowcase into the pot.  Next,  I squeeze the mayhaws that are in the pillowcase and allow the juice to run into the pot.  When I am through squeezing the mayhaws to remove the juice, I throw away the pillowcase with the mayhaws in it.  The mayhaw juice as well as the water they cooked in will be the juice that you use to make the mayhaw jelly with.  This juice will make several makings of mayhaw jelly.  The juice can be kept in the refrigerator for several days to use to make jelly.  

4 cups mayhaw juice
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 pkg. Sure-Jell

Bring juice and Sure-Jell to a rolling boil in a large pot.  Add sugar.  Bring to a rolling boil again.  Boil hard for 2 - 3 min.  Pour into jars.

This will make 7 half-pints.

Note:  I run my jelly jars through the dishwasher before I use them for the jelly.  I place a towel on my counter top with the jars ready for use.  I place the lids and rings for the jars in a boiler and bring to a rolling boil.  I leave them on the heat until I place them on the filled jelly jar.  After a short time, you will hear a slight pop as the jar seals.


1 comment:

  1. My sweet neighbor (Thomasville,GA) shared his mayhaws with me and I have juice in the freezer to make jelly this summer. Nothing better than Mayhaw jelly. Thanks for the great info.