Tricounty News

Making jams and jellies

Carrot cake jam, champagne blush jelly, fresh herb jelly, mom’s apple pie in a jar – these are some of the many exciting new varieties of jams and jellies that home food preservers are “putting up.”

Quality fruit produces quality jam or jelly. Begin with fruit at its peak of ripeness. This is not the place to “use up” overripe or decayed fruit.  Making jam or jelly is a balance of fruit with the addition of pectin, along with sugar and acid, usually lemon juice. Blackberries, crabapples, or concord grapes are examples of fruits naturally containing pectin and acid, and can be cooked into jam without additional ingredients.

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Graduation party food safety

We are entering the season of graduation parties, family reunions, and community gatherings. These events include good people, good times, and good food!

If you are hosting or helping with a large quantity food event, be sure to keep food safety in mind. The combination of larger quantities of food, more helpers in the kitchen, and summer temperatures could result in unwanted foodborne illness for your guests. Infants and young children, older adults and those with weakened immune systems attending your gathering are at higher risk. Foodborne illness often presents itself with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.

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Pickled asparagus

Pickling is not just for cucumbers anymore! One of the first crops of the season is asparagus and it is a good candidate for pickling. Use the freshest asparagus for best color. Choose spears with straight, green (possibly tinged with purple) and tightly closed tips. Thinner spears are preferred for pickling. The quality deteriorates very rapidly after it has been harvested, so keep it cool.

Pickled Asparagus Recipe

For six wide-mouth pint jars:

10 pounds asparagus

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Wild edible plants at Lake Maria S.P.

Wild edible plants will be the focus of a program at Lake Maria State Park beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18, at the park’s nature center. Registration is required by calling the park at (763) 878-2325.

Dr. Steve Saupe, professor and botanist at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, will be the featured speaker, covering such topics as identification and collection of wild edible plants, preparation of edible plants for consumption and preservation and restoration of habitat. His presentation will be followed by a short hike.

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I Dairy^ou to Cook!

First Ever ‘I Dairy^ou to Cook!’ Recipe Contest Seeks Entries

Celebrate June Dairy Month by entering the ‘I Dairy^ou to Cook!’ recipe contest. Enter an original recipe that includes your favorite dairy products including, milk, cheese, yogurt and/or ice cream. The three categories include main dish, snack/appetizer, and dessert. Contestants can enter in a maximum of two categories and must include the recipe and a photo with each entry. Short video entries are also allowed, but not required. The entry form is online at the event organizer’s blog – Put A Fork In It, www.a4kinit.blogspot.com. Photos and videos should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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