The North Bend Eagle


Tradition preserved in local kitchens

by Stephanie Iwan Flamme
Published 8/2/17

Some women cook up more than memories when they go into their kitchens.

They preserve the traditions handed down to them especially when their gardens are producing and they have more fruits and vegetables than they know what to do with.

Lou Bauer uses recipies from a 1971 cookbook for many of her salsas, relishes and pickels.

Linda Minarick, who has been preserving jams and jellies for more than 41 years, began in Curtis and continued when she moved to the farm south of Morse Bluff.
According to Minarick there is a difference between jam and jelly. Jelly is made from just the juice of the fruit while jam is thicker and has the pulp and bits of fruit in it.

“Peaches and apples work better as jams,” Minarick said.

Living in Morse Bluff and no longer on the farm, Minarick begins planning to make her jams and jellies in early spring when wild fruit trees and bushes are blossoming.

“I find them in the spring when they bloom, remember where they are, and check on them throughout the growing season, then pick them when they’re ripe,” Minarick said.

Some of the fruits that she uses are in established places and she has planted some like aronia chokeberry.

“My grape vine has never failed us but my raspberries died recently, but I’ve found a new bunch,” Minarick said.

Minarick uses mostly wild and some domestic fruits to make her delicious jams and jellies. She really likes plums, grapes, black raspberries, cherries, aronia chokeberries and peaches to make more than 200 jars of jellies and jams each year which she uses for gifts at Christmas. She has even purchased some of her fruits at the grocery store when they are on sale. “It’s like a sickness. I’ve got to make jelly,” she said.

Minarick has even made jelly out of wine.

“I’ve learned that the pretty colored, sweet, cheap wine like Boone’s Farm makes the best no matter what flavor,” Minarick said.

Sometimes after picking the fruit, Minarick makes juice then freezes it. She then makes the jams and jellies over a six month period.

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