My friend and I had tried a fruity jam with jalapenos at a local vineyard and this is the version I created. At work there was a taste test comparing my different versions of the jam, and this one was voted a favorite. I like this fruity spread on crackers with cream cheese, on hamburgers or even grilled cheese. For extra heat, add the seeds of a few jalapenos to the jam.
We grow lots of basil for our local farmers market, and this is a unique way to use it. The jelly is really good with cream cheese as an appetizer. I also like to combine a jar with 1 cup of barbecue sauce and simmer mini meatballs or cocktail wieners in the mixture.
-Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
When I host a Christmas sit-down dinner, I adhere labels on small jars of this jam to use as place cards. At the end of the evening, the guests can take the sweet spread home to enjoy. —Virginia Montmarquet, Riverside, California
I love strawberries but had never picked them until my neighbors took me to the local strawberry farm years ago. The next day, I used the motherlode of bright red strawberries to make this wonderful marmalade.—Margaret Hill, Louisville, Kentucky
Versatile and delicious, this conserve reminds me of a warm cozy kitchen; you'll love every bite. I warm the conserve and pour it over vanilla ice cream as a dessert, and it's great as a topping over French toast, biscuits or even pork roast. Be sure to make more than one batch so you can give it as gifts during the holidays.—Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
I have lived on a farm all my life, so I have always had a garden. I can a lot of my garden-grown fruits and veggies and I make these wonderful preserves every year.—Evelyn Stearns, Alto Pass, Illinois
"My husband has been a diabetic for almost 20 years and is very careful about what he eats," explains Rita Christ of Wauwautosa, Wisconsin. "He was tired of eating the flavorless jams and jellies for diabetics in the grocery store, so I came up with this recipe. With its fresh flavor, it makes a nice gift."