2019 Market Season!

The 2019 Farmers Market season is rapidly approaching and it is going to be a busy one for me! I am gearing up to sell at 5 markets this year. Luckily the schedule works out in such a way that I will not actually be attending all 5 in one week – that would be a bit much… I am really looking forward to meeting new customers and giving my existing customers more opportunities to find me.

My complete market schedule can be found on my website – www.maukagirlcreations.com

And for those of you reading this blog – you are the first to hear that I am introducing 5 new flavors this year! And here they are:

  • Cherry Tomato Jam
  • Marionberry Cinnamon Jam
  • Raspberry Rhubarb Jam
  • Orange Ginger Marmalade
  • Strawberry Meyer Lemon Jam

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Keep an eye on my Instagram and Facebook where I will introduce each jam individually leading up to market season.

As always, thank you for your support!

Cheers

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FARRO SALAD with BALSAMIC FIG VINAIGRETTE

Here is a short post for a delicious, perfectly autumnal, Farro Salad using my Balsamic Fig Preserves as the base of a hearty vinaigrette that I recently demonstrated at the Farmer’s Market. With added kale, dried cranberries, and goat cheese, this salad is a healthy meal option on its own or when added to some grilled chicken or salmon. The salad is vegetarian, to make vegan, just omit the cheese!

fullsizeoutput_2a86All of the products used in this salad can be sourced from Oregon! Although not pictured, Bob’s Red Mill has a Farro.


FARRO SALAD WITH BALSAMIC FIG VINAIGRETTE                                                    SERVES 6-8

  • 2 CUPS PEARLED FARRO (Pearled Farro, as opposed to whole farro, cooks in much less time without the need for soaking)
  • 1/2 CUP BALSAMIC FIG PRESERVES
  • 2 T. BALSAMIC VINEGAR
  • 2 T. OLIVE OIL
  • 1 TSP DIJON MUSTARD
  • 1 CUP DRIED CRANBERRIES
  • 4 CUPS CHOPPED ORGANIC KALE
  • 8 OUNCES GOAT CHEESE, CRUMBLED

Cook the farro using the Pasta Method – Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the farro, cook until al dente, 15-25 minutes. Drain the farro and set it aside, do not rinse. While the Farro cooks, prepare the rest of the ingredients. In a large bowl whisk together the Balsamic Fig Preserves, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and dijon mustard until well blended. Add the chopped kale and massage until slightly wilted and tenderized. Stir in the farro and the dried cranberries until it is all coated. Fold in the goat cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This salad is best when consumed the same day, served at room temperature.

fullsizeoutput_2a87Spinach can be substituted for the kale, as pictured here, before the goat cheese has been added.

Jam – For More Than Toast!

Let me begin by saying thank you to all my new followers! I hope you enjoy.

This is just a quick post to talk about some fun alternative ideas for jams and preserves. When I am at Farmer’s MarketsI often get the comment “I don’t eat bread (or toast) so I have no need for jam” or something to that effect…

So here are eight alternative uses for jam and preserves:

1. Use them as an accompaniment on a cheese board.

2. Stir them into plain yogurt. No need to spend extra money on yogurt with added fruit! It also helps control the sugar amount since you put in as much or as little as you like.

3. Use them as an alternative to syrup to top your waffles, pancakes, or crepes.

4. Serve them with scones, croissants, or other decadent pastries.

5. Scoop them over ice cream!

6. Use them to make a pan sauce for grilled meat and vegetables.

7. Use them as the base of a vinaigrette.

8. Use as a cake filling. Spread between layers or mix with buttercream.

What is your favorite way to use jam or preserves? And what other ideas do you have?

Stay tuned – my next post will be looking at what to do with an assortment of berries from last season I found in the freezer!

Cheers!

The Time Has Come!

After close to 10 months of filling out forms, taking classes, spending money, not getting answers, and bouts of major doubt and disappointment, I am thrilled to announce that Mauka Girl Creations is back in business!

I have slowly started production, which will ramp up as the season progresses and gives me more beautiful fresh produce to work with. As soon as labels arrive I will be adding items to my Etsy shop.

An artisan is defined as “a person or company that produces something in limited quantities, often using traditional methods, using high quality ingredients”. These are the qualities that define my business and why I love doing what I do. I am a producer of high quality, artisanal preserves, jams, and jellies. I am a one woman operation. As such, the items I make take time, effort, and no shortage of financial investment. Please keep this in mind if you find yourself thinking I charge too much for my products.

I will initially be making Balsamic Fig Preserves, Spiced Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, Black Currant Preserves, and Apricot Rosemary Jam. Stay tuned for where to be able to find me in person starting this summer so you can sample some of this deliciousness!

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The beginning stage of Balsamic Fig Preserves

Cheers!

Black Currant Jam with Cassis

Another recent fun find for me at the Farmer’s Market were black currants. I have never had the opportunity to work with them or enjoy them fresh. They are a slightly coveted berry that evokes warm and leisurely summer days so I have plans to make multiple small batches to enjoy during the grey winter months with Greek yogurt or homemade bread and to gift to loved ones.

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Although I have not previously had the chance to work with black currants, I have enjoyed Crème de Cassis for years in Kir royal and other cocktails. So I figures why not blend the best of both worlds and add Crème de Cassis to my jam? It turned out beautifully! Black currants are another fruit with a lot of natural pectin, so I was able to cook them to 220 degrees without added pectin to get a beautiful set. This jam actually sets up a lot as it cools, so to get a looser jam I may cook my next batch for a bit shorter time. The jam is sweet, slightly tart, and you can taste the Crème de Cassis on the finish. It is really delightful and is just as simple as the Gooseberry, requiring you to do nothing more than put all of the ingredients in the pot and cook away.

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BLACK CURRANT JAM with CASSIS

Yield: 2.5 cups

  • 14 oz. (by weight) fresh black currants (2.5 cups), washed and de-stemmed. (There is no need to remove the little brown top)
  • 12 oz. (by weight) organic cane sugar (1.5 cups)
  • 3/4 cup Crème de Cassis
  • 1 T. lemon juice

Prepare a boiling water bath canner and your jars (I used (5) 4 oz. jars for this recipe).

Add all ingredients to a wide bottom pot and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce to a hard simmer and cook the mixture, stirring often to prevent sticking and burning, until desired consistency or 220 degrees is reached.

Ladle jam into prepared jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims with damp paper towel. Place lids on jars and tighten rings finger tight. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool 24 hours. Store in a cool dark place for up to one year.

NOTE: If you do not want to use Cassis, you can substitute 3/4 cup water or orange juice.


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Cheers!

Small Batch Gooseberry Jam

I was so excited to see beautiful gooseberries at the Farmer’s Market! When I was a kid we had gooseberry bushes in our yard and it was always a race to harvest them before the birds got them. Gooseberries were the plant that introduced me to that black netting that is supposed to keep the birds out but never really does…

When we did harvest them I remember delicious slightly tart gooseberry jam and gooseberry pie. This is probably one of the things I had growing up that started my love of all things tart and sour. So it seemed that a delicious, nostalgic batch of gooseberry jam was in order. And it is so simple.

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Wash the gooseberries and pinch off both the top and the tail. They then go in a wide bottomed pot with sugar, water, and a touch of lemon juice and are cooked to the desired thickness or 220 degrees.

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Gooseberries have natural pectin so no added pectin is needed. One tip: be sure to taste your gooseberries. This batch was a bit sweeter so I was able to use slightly less sugar. For a tarter batch of gooseberries I would recommend doing a 1:1 ratio of gooseberries to sugar by weight. I am looking forward to procuring some more gooseberries to stock up on jam and maybe even make a pie.


GOOSEBERRY JAM

Yield: 12 ounces (I did (3) 4 ounce jars with the intention of gifting some of these, but you can use (1) 12 ounce jar if you just want to save it for yourself!)

  • 12 oz. (by weight) prepped gooseberries (2 cups)
  • 8 oz. (by weight) organic cane sugar (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 T. lemon juice

Prepare a boiling water bath canner and your jars.

Add all ingredients to a wide bottom pot and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce to a hard simmer and cook the mixture, stirring often to prevent sticking and burning, until desired consistency or 220 degrees is reached.

Ladle jam into prepared jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims with damp paper towel. Place lids on jars and tighten rings finger tight. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool 24 hours. Store in a cool dark place for up to one year.


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Cheers!

Update

Hello all and Happy Monday! Just wanted to give a quick update on how the business transitioning to Oregon is progressing. I should be set up in a local community kitchen by the end of June! Just a couple more steps until I will be making delicious small batches of jams, jellies, and other preserved goods that will be available for you! The wonderful thing about working out of a commercial community kitchen is that I will be able to sell online (so keep an eye out for that Etsy store) and I can even wholesale if the opportunity arises. I may not be able to get into any Farmer’s Markets this summer, so I am setting my sights on Holiday fairs this Fall and Winter.

Thank you for all of your support! Have an amazing day!