Archive for the ‘JAMS + JELLIES’ Category

Wild Ed's Mustang Grapes

Came across this wonderful blog by Wild Ed which has useful hunting info and unique recipes. His formula for mustang grape jelly/jam/preserves seems a winner, as I prefer my preserves a bit tart.  For hardcore mustangensis fans, you can also make wine from the drought tolerant grape resulting in a nice dry red. You can also save the ripe skins of the grapes and dry them for the winter. On a cold and stormy night, simply pour boiling water over the dried grape skins, add some sugar or agave nectar and ta da! A delicious hot grape drink.

I bet a little Tito‘s in there would go nicely.


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Birthday Party at Four String Farm

We recently had the pleasure of throwing a birthday party with great friends at the Four String Farm in Rockport, Texas. This gorgeous creation is run by Justin Butts and sells pastured pork, poultry, and eggs as well as fresh herbs and vegetables throughout the year. No hormones, steroids or antibiotics are ever given to the animals and no chemical pesticides or fertilizers are used on their plants. Turkeys are available by pre-order for Thanksgiving (yay!).

Beginning in Fall 2010, Four String Farm will host a series of eco-tours and special events on the farm.  In addition to the commercial farming operation, they carefully maintain a protected ecosystem on the farm that allows native animal and plant species to thrive.  The  eco-tours will feature this vast array of plant and animal wildlife.  Birdwatchers, nature enthusiasts, and visitors to the Gulf Coast will be able to view the bio-diversity at the farm.  Numerous educational and entertaining events, from cooking demonstrations in the farmhouse to classes on wildlife photography will be available.  Stay tuned!

How to Buy

* Look for Four String Farm at the Rockport/Fulton Farmer’s Market (Fulton Beach Road by Paws & Taws) on the first and third Saturday of month or at Rockport Market Days on the last Saturday of the month (by Rockport Beach and the Texas Maritime Museum).
* Call  361-688-3802 or e-mail justinbutts@clearwire.net.
* You can pick up retail orders from the farm by appointment only.
* Ask about customized volume discount orders.
* Visit www.fourstringfarm.com for more info.

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Les Dames d’Escoffier – San Antonio Chapter is proud to announce the Second Annual International Olive Festival of Texas 2010 on Saturday, March 27, 2010 from 10 AM to 4 PM.

The festival will be held at Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard located at 25195 Mathis Rd., off of I 37, near Elmendorf, Texas 78112.  (For directions, click here).

Everyone is invited to enjoy numerous vendors, gourmet food and Texas wine concessions, cooking demonstrations, health and nutrition seminars, entertainment and an olive buffet featuring olives from around the world to sample and compare.

Admission $10 at the Gate. Advance Tickets Also Available at San Antonio Area H-E-B Stores

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It took 42 years.

Ketchup isn’t exactly a South Texas food, but we do eat a lot of the condiment and this news item is too juicy to pass up. The smarty pants at Heinz have listened and are making the packets larger and more user friendly. You get 3x times as many packets in one of these babies.

Dave Ciesinski, Vice President of Heinz Ketchup:

A true packaging breakthrough, the Heinz Dip & Squeeze dual-function package gives ketchup lovers two ways to enjoy Heinz Ketchup: either peel back the lid for easy dipping, or tear off the tip to squeeze onto favorite foods. The new package holds three times as much Heinz Ketchup as the traditional packet.

That means more ketchup when it’s wanted and where it’s wanted with less mess and a better overall dining experience. Now, busy Americans have a portable, clean and versatile package that makes it easier and more fun to dip or squeeze Heinz Ketchup no matter where they are.


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Texas Mesquite Tree

Mesquite seems to be everywhere these days. Folks making beer hope to give it a sweet/bitter taste. Mequite syrup (recipe below) or flour can be used in baking. And rumor has is Blue Bell is coming out with a Mesquite Bean Ice Cream next year. Could be just a rumor though….Shhh…

Mesquite is also a pretty cool plant. According to wiki, mesquite is an extremely hardy, drought-tolerant plant because it can draw water from the water table through its long taproot (recorded at up to 190 ft {58 m} depth). However, it can also use water in the upper part of the ground, depending upon availability. The tree can easily and rapidly switch from utilizing one water source to the other.

Mesquite Bean Syrup/Jelly/Sugar

Pick the beans from the tree after they are ripe – – tan to reddish brown.
An apron full.
Break pods into short lengths.
Cover with water and boil slowly for 45 minutes.
Mash with a potato masher or the like.
Strain through cheese cloth.
Set first brew aside.
Boil the mashed pulp again for 45 minutes with water to cover.
Strain again.
Discard pulp.
Combine again, strongly over high heat at first, then low until liquid becomes light
to medium syrup. Add pectin or Sure-Jell and lemon juice (1/2 lemon for each of
cups of liquid) for jelly.
Continue boiling, carefully, until crystallization, for sugar.

© 1995 John Igo

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Noah Thompson who runs Victoria Farmers Market


When: from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Where: 2805 N. Navarro St., in front of the Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center

For more information about the Victoria Farmer’s Market or to sell produce at the local market, call market manager Noah Thompson at 361-277-2268.

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Gulf Breeze is family owned and operated Ranch/Farm located about 45 miles from Corpus Christi, Texas along side Lake Corpus Christi. Their main commodity at this time are Alpacas, but they are also testing varieties of Lavender to see which will grow best in South Texas. They also raise serveral varieties of poultry for eggs, as well as Heritage Turkeys. They hope to produce the best South Texas Brush Country Honey from wild flowers and trees in the area.

BONUS** If you would like to stay with them, they have a small Bed and Breakfast!

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