In connection with the Austin Food Blogger’s Alliance “Meet me at the Market” campaign to help raise awareness for the Sustainable Food Center, and their Capital Campaign, I offered to profile one of my favorite vendors at the SFC Farmer’s Markets at Republic Square and Sunset Valley – Confituras.
If you haven’t yet met Stephanie McLenny, Confituras’ owner, creative genius and head jamstress, you are missing out on really amazing seasonal, small batch preserves, and the wonderful creator of them.
Stephanie was kind enough to answer the following questions:
Q. ” What flavors of jam will be available for purchase for the upcoming holiday season?
A. We will have Caramel Apple Preserves, Tangerine Cinnamon Marmalade, Grapefruit Vanilla Bean Jam, Grapefruit Chile Marmalade, Salted Caramel Pear Butter, Fig & Walnut Conserve, Pickled Pears, Apple Geranium Jelly, Tipsy Cranberry Pecan Sauce, Cranberry Jalapeño Jelly, Apple Ginger Jam, Orange & Chile Marmalade, Cranberry Cinnamon Jam, Tangerine Whiskey Marmalade, and more!
Q. What kinds of gift items will be available for the holidays this year?
A. Our gift items include jam boxes which are small or large 4-packs of jam in kraft boxes tied with baker’s twine, individual jars of jam wrapped with a wooden spoon, and small jam jars packaged with wonderful Amity Bakery shortbread. We also offer jam shares (6 or 12 month jam memberships) for shipping or local pick up and gift certificates for jam or for our monthly canning classes.
Q. Do you ship gifts?
A. Yes, we ship! we have an online shop on our website at www.confituras.net folks can order jam shares, jars of jam, gift boxes, and gift certificates.
Q. When should someone purchase gifts for shipping in order to get them delivered by Christmas?
A. December 16th is the last day to order for shipping by Christmas. local customers can order online and pickup at our downtown kitchen or at one of our farmers markets, including SFC Farmer’s Market downtown, SFC Farmer’s Market Sunset Valley, and Mueller Farmer’s Market.
Q. Do you have a favorite jam to make? Do you have a favorite jam to eat?
A. Every season I fall in love with each fruit over and over again, but there are some that really get ahold of me-the aroma of strawberries
and vanilla bean in early spring, the first blush of peaches simmering with brown sugar and bourbon as summer approaches, the perfect celeste fig in syrup, and gorgeous tangerines simmered with warming cinnamon in late fall. I love them all, from the Salted Caramel Pear Butter over vanilla ice cream, to peanut butter and Strawberry Vanilla Bean Jam sandwiches, to the Tangerine Cinnamon Marmalade used as a layer in a cake!
Q. How would you suggest serving your jams/butters for holiday parties?
A. I have more of a savory tooth than a sweet tooth, so I love pairing my preserves with savory items. The Tipsy Cranberry Pecan Sauce is lovely warmed and poured over a round of brie; the Cranberry Jalapeño Jelly with cream cheese or fresh chèvre and crackers; the citrus jams make for a great glaze for ham or roasted pork or root vegetables, the Fig & Walnut Conserve is wonderful with manchego or as part of any cheese course.
Q. Do you have any non-obvious ways to serve your jam, ie BLT or grilled cheese with tomato jam?
A. The tomato jams are perfect on blt’s or grilled cheese sandwiches, our citrus jams are perfect as a glaze to toss in after roasting root vegetables like carrots or butternut squash, and our Orange Chile Marmalade makes a great asian style marinade when combined with tamari or soy sauce for chicken or pork.”
If you haven’t yet met Stephanie, meet her at the market, and get yourself, and everyone you know, some award winning preserves! (Good Food Awards, 2011, 2012.)
This post in written in part to support the Capital Campaign of the Sustainable Food Center, to build a permanent home from which to provide its services. The non-profit SFC helps break down the barriers to healty, nutritiouss food, and supports family farms. The Grow, Share, Prepare program teaches the community about local food, growing food and holds cooking classes, in addition to running their four farmer’s markets; The Republic Square Park and Sunset Valley on Saturday, Triangle Park on Wednesday and East on Tuesday. There farmer’s markets provide a valuable and affordable space for farmers and food artisans to get their food to the public. They need a facility to continue their good works from, and need funds to build it. If you’d like to donate to support the SFC, you can do so here: http://www.sustainablefoodcenter.org/capital-campaign/about