Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ever Tried B.E.A.R. Jam?

by Maggie Sefton


Have you ever tasted B.E.A.R. Jam?  How about Southern Chow Chow?  Bread and Butter Pickles?

Those  are some of local specialties found here in the Northern Neck of Virginia---hour and a half from the DC Beltway and what I call the Metro Area Madness.  B.E.A.R. jam is made from blackberries, elderberries, apples, and red raspberries.  Southern Chow Chow is cabbage, bell peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers,  vinegar, sugar, and spices.  At least that's the recipe used at Westmoreland Berry Farms in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  It's well worth a visit, just to relax on their wide back porch in one of the rocking chairs and gaze out at the Potomac.  While enjoying one of the yummy snacks from their small snack bar, of course.

I visited the Berry Farm last year in July and will again this year, probably when daughter Melissa comes to visit this week.  Melissa comes by train from Manhattan---a nice relaxing trip---and arrives in Fredericksburg, Virginia which is only 40-some miles from the lovely wooded area where I am.  I'll pick her up, and we'll have dinner at one of the many new and trendy restaurants that are now part of the Fredericksburg scene.  I may have posted a photo last year.

She'll have until Saturday to rest and relax here, sitting on the wraparound deck, staring into the woods.  We have beautiful cardinals singing in the trees right beside the deck, and bald eagles soaring overhead and nesting in the tall trees.  Deer, of course, wander out of the trees and nibble grass in the front yard.  The backyard stretches way back into the woods and a ravine.  So. . .naturally there is more wildlife.  Those naughty deer have a great time in the spring eating the azaleas in the garden.  :(

I've been writing the delayed Kelly Flynn #14, my current work-in-progress, while sitting on the deck.  Early in the morning is cooler.  And I had some B.E.A.R. jam this very morning.  :)   What are the local specialities where you folks are?

9 comments:

Lynda Turpin said...

I haven't heard of B.E.A.R jam (although it sounds yummy) or Southern Chow Chow, but I have eaten Bread and Butter Pickles my whole life. My mom used to "can" them. My favorite kind of pickle. But even more than the food, the location sounds wonderful - would love to be sitting on that porch right now.

Anonymous said...

I haven't had B.E.A.R. jam but ate Chow Chow and Bread & Butter Pickles as a kid. I think our Chow Chow had mustard instead of jalapeno peppers because it was yellow. Hood strawberries are unique to the NW because they have such a high sugar content, they can't be shipped. Some of our seafood such as Dungeness crab is quite localized, again because of shipping. Except for the Native Americans, we were settled by people from the East and especially the South. Cordella

ceblain said...


I make Bumbleberry Pie which is almost like your BEAR jam, except the pie has strawberries in it not Elderberries. I used to make every kind of pickle and condiment when I was in my 30's. I would make so many jars of everything that it never got eaten before I decided to toss it out. It was fun to make but my family was not as adventurous with pickles and things like I was. My favorite pickles to make now are watermelon rind pickles which I still do make once a summer. They are so delicious with a sandwich. Thanks for bringing back memories of my canning days. Loved my trip down memory lane.
Cynthia


Mary Jane Maffini said...

What a fun post, Maggie! Hugs. MJ

Vicki W. said...

FROG Jam...oh that stuff is good! Fig, Raspberry, Orange, Ginger which is where the name of the jam comes from. I don't see it in the store's in Marietta, GA but I do see it up in the apple houses up in Ellijay and Blue Ridge Georgia.

But I bet if I went to a big enough farmer's market in Marietta I would find it. It is more regional because you need lots of figs to make it.

Maggie Sefton said...

Wow, Cynthia----I would have definitely been snacking around your kitchen.

Maggie Sefton said...

It's a really pretty view of the river, Lynda. Relaxing. Which is why I come here. :) We all need ways to relax.

Maggie Sefton said...

You know, the Chow Chow here in Westmoreland County, Virginia at that Berry Farm is bright yellow. I bet they use a lot of those pretty yellow peppers.

Maggie Sefton said...

I would love that jam, Vicki. Figs, raspberries, orange, ginger---that has got to be good.