Why I want to be mentor in this category: Jamming is much easier than people think and everyone deserve the gift of summer-fresh strawberries slathered on a hot biscuit—even in January!
What inspires me in this category: Jamming has helped me to connect the sustainability dots.
Experience: Learning to can a few years ago was the best gift I ever "gave" myself. Now I can enjoy strawberries that taste as delicious as the day they were picked any time of the year.
Biggest Lesson Learned: Don't tackle too much at once. I much prefer to can a few jars of jam each weekend than try to tackle bushels. Also, the microwave is especially helpful as is all-natural pectin, which allows you to make jams low in sugar that really showcase the flavor of the fruit.
Books, classes, teachers that have helped me: While many books inspire ideas for flavor pairing, the most useful guide is really the insert in the Pomono's Universal Pectin packet—too much or too little and your jam won't set properly!
Education, Awards, Pro Experience: Consulting Food Editor, Working Mother magazinernFamily Cooking Columnist, Relish MagazinernProfessional Freelance Recipe Developer and Food Editor
Jam in small batches, rather than bushels, so it doesn't feel too overwhelming when you first start out.
Ask your local farmer if you can buy the bruised berries at a discount. Most will be shocked and happy to make some money on otherwise unsellable fruit.