“Marley Mills is the alchemist of all things wild in the kitchen including making jelly out of knotweed, chokecherries and wild grapes.”
—Jesse DeGroodt, The Chatham Press, July 2015
2017 has been a bad year, healthwise.
I hope to restart production in 2018, though !
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Hover over flavor names for a short description or
download a copy of my most recent Flavor Explainer
Flavors in bold are currently in season.
Juneberry Juneberries resemble blueberries in looks but have a unique sweet, tart taste all their own.
Panakam Plum Red-gold plums, ginger, lime, & cardamom.
Raspberry Lime Ripe red raspberries blended with Mexican lime for a touch of tartness.
Strawberry Rhubarb A classic. Organic strawberries & rhubarb, both from The Berry Farm.
Bergamot A traditional British preserve, with a taste similar to sweetened Earl Grey tea.
IndoNoir Black Coffee A sweet, caffeinated treat for dark roast coffee lovers everywhere.
Dandelion Looks like sunshine, tastes like honey.
Elderflower & Vanilla A perfect blend of delicate sweetness and perfumed bouquet.
Locust Blossom Delicate & sweet with a light, floral element.
Rose Petal A delicious filling for thumbprint cookies & jellyroll cakes.
Spearmint Serve with lamb, pork chops, or toss with green beans or fresh peas.
Spruce Tip Light, bright citrus flavor with a hint of pine. Excellent with peanut butter !
Wild Knotweed A delicate, tangy jelly. Try it warmed on ice cream or pancakes !
Savory Herb Jellies
Wild Chive The mild onion flavor makes a good marinade or glaze for chicken & root veggies.
Wild Garlic-Mustard Greens Lives up to its name. Particularly tasty for glazing roast potatoes.
Wild Ramp Zesty onion-garlic taste. Pairs well with sharp cheeses. Sustainably harvested.
Apple Pear Equal parts apples & seckel pears make this jam sweet and mellow.
Blueberry Lemon A touch of florida lemon sparks with sweet local blueberries.
Savory Herb Jellies
Balsamic Rosemary Pairs well with both hard & soft cheeses, lamb, venison, & pheasant.
Apple Pie Jam Wild apples flavored with molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, & allspice.
Autumn Hedgerow The lesser-known fruits of fall. Deliciously sweet & tangy.
Blackberry Abundant in our area, when fully ripe blackberries make an incredibly flavorful, naturally sweet jam.
Blueberry Rhubarb An unusual, sweet & tangy blend.
Cran Apple Local wild apples blended with Cape Cod cranberries make this jam a tangy treat.
Cran Grape Concord grapes blended with just the right amount of Cape Cod cranberries.
Cranberry Blueberry Preserves Tart, whole Nantucket cranberries & local blueberries. Tangy & sweet.
Ginger Pear Local seckel & barlett pears, seasoned with fresh grated ginger root for a spicy kick.
Golden Summer Peaches, nectarines, & yellow plums make this jam taste like summer in a jar.
India–Spiced Quince Sweet & unique. Mixed with orange, cardamom, & candied ginger.
Peaches & Cream Madagascar vanilla beans plus juicy, ripe peaches.
Pineapple Orange A sweet flavorful jam that is lovely on ice cream or for use in desserts.
Plum A bold, tart, earthy jam.
Red Currant Sweet & tangy. Made with currants from The Berry Farm in Chatham, NY.
Strawberry Vanilla Reminiscent of fresh strawberries & cream.
Vanilla Pear Homegrown seckel pears plus Madagascar vanilla beans create a rich tasting treat.
Wild Apple Grape Equal parts wild apples & wild Concord grapes, this jam is rich, flavorful, & tangy.
Wild Blackberry Abundant in our area, when fully ripe blackberries make an incredibly flavorful, naturally sweet jam.
Wild Black Cherry A deep cherry flavor, both sweet & tart.
Wild Elderberry An earthy & robust deep purple jam.
Wild Grape Made from wild fox grapes. More tart & robust than their Concord cousins.
Wild Sour Cherry A type of wild cherry, chokecherries are very tart, & makes a wonderful deep-flavored jam.
Apple Cider Fresh apple cider from Samascott Orchards provides an intense, tangy flavor.
Bee Balm Tastes remarkably like Earl Grey tea.
Lemon Balm Sweet & tangy, similar in taste to lemonade.
Queen Anne's Lace & Chicory Aromatic, with a hint of citrus, like a floral lemonade.
Red Clover Light and sweet, with a bright pink color.
Violet Purple with a light floral-grape flavor.
Wild Day Lily Sweet & tangy with hints of citrus & melon.
Wild Red Sumac Sweet & tart all at once, like pink lemonade.
Savory Herb Jellies
Chive Blossom Excellent on bagels & cream cheese, or mix with sour cream for a tasty dip.
Italian Blend Oregano, parsley, & basil. Use as a glaze, or toss with pasta.
Lemon Dill Great as a marinade or glaze for any fish, especially salmon.
Lime Cilantro A unique addition to burritos, tacos, & layered dips, or marinade chicken.
Sage Excellent with Brie or other soft cheeses. A tasty glaze for turkey & chicken.
Wild Thyme Pairs well with sharp, hard cheeses, poultry, steak, roast beef, & lamb.
Winter Savory Spicy, peppery flavor. Pairs with mushrooms, beans, & white sauces.
Black Raspberry Slightly tart. Straining out most of the seeds yields a smoother, flavorful jam.
Cherry Vanilla Tart local sour cherries are cooked with Madagascar vanilla beans. Amazing.
Mulberry This jam tastes like a mix of blueberries and blackberries.
Summer Hedgerow Blackberries, chokecherries, & elderberries.
Apple Blossom Delicate and sweet, with a taste of honeysuckle.
Quince Tastes like a unique blend of rose, ripe apple, & pear.
Wild Crabapple A traditional late-summer preserve. Sweet & tangy.
Wild Hawthorn Deliciously sweet & tangy with a deep red color from the skins of the fruit.
Savory Herb Jellies
Wild Ramp Blossom This zesty onion-garlic taste pairs well with sharp cheeses, grilled meats & veggies.
I've been making homemade jams and jellies since I was a kid helping my mom. She thinks it's funny that I do now for fun what she had to back then to get by. But I really do enjoy it – I love scouting for blossoms in the spring, and going back a few months later to harvest the wild berries and fruit those blossoms promised. I find standing at the sink cleaning and picking over my haul soothing, and the actual process of jam making is truly meditative – so much stirring !
Yes, I love making jam. My friends benefit from my obsession quite a bit. As do my kids' teachers, our local service providers, and the occasional random stranger I happen to start talking to. My friends and family jokingly agree that I need help – but not a single one of them is willing to interfere, lest they mess with their jam supply.
So instead they have suggested, repeatedly, that I sell some of my jam – at least enough to pay for the habit, as it were. And I finally figured out that they were right.
Locally grown, locally processed. The fruits, herbs, and flowers used in my products are locally grown (except for the cranberries and citrus – those don't like to grow around here!) and processed by me, by hand. Many fruits – including raspberries, blackberries, cherries, elderberries, grapes, and apples – I harvest from the wild spaces of Columbia and Berkshire counties. What I can't find wild, I harvest at area pick–your–own farms and orchards, or very occasionally buy at local farm stands or farmers' markets.
More fruit, less sugar. My jams and jellies use about a third the added sugar of most others – 2 cups of sugar for every 4 cups of fruit puree or juice, compared to 6–7 cups of sugar in traditional recipes. I haven't had anyone complain yet about the missing sugar, and the natural taste of the fruit comes through so much better. Even the herb and flower jellies use less sugar than traditionally called for.
Locally sourced jams. The flavor on the stove depends on the season. First crop of the year is usually strawberries, wild or cultivated, and then black cap raspberries. High summer means wild chokecherries and currants, then blueberries and peaches. Late summer brings elderberries and wild grapes, red raspberries and seckel pears, along with some early apples. Autumn is full of wild apples and crabapples, and shy, underappreciated fruits like speckleberries, rosehips, and barberries. And you never know what I'll be cooking up in winter – it depends what was bountiful enough to get into the freezer during the months prior.
I like to play with flavors – things like strawberry vanilla or gingered pear. I also enjoy blending tastes together – triple berry (strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry), summer hedgerow (chokecherry, blackberry, and elderberry), or autumn hedgerow (crabapple, rosehip, and barberry). And I love mixing in just enough cranberry to give the jam some bite, so cran–grape and cran–apple are some of my favorites.
I fill the down time between harvests by making herb and flower–blossom jellies.
Herb jelly? Really? Yes, really. Fresh chopped herbs are steeped in a blend of apple and lemon juices and vinegar. After straining, the resulting infusions are made into jellies that can be used as delicious condiments. Chive jelly on a bagel with cream cheese is amazing. Or rosemary jelly with cheese and crackers. Melt herb jelly in a sauce pan, add a little vinegar and oil, and you've got an instant marinade. Use it straight from the jar to glaze poultry, pork, fish, or veggies. It caramelizes beautifully on the grill.
But what is flower–blossom jelly? These jellies can be made with any edible flower. Clean flower petals are steeped in a blend of apple and lemon juices. The resulting infusions are strained and made into jellies with delicate flavors and beautiful colors. Dandelion jelly tastes almost like honey, while bee balm jelly reminds me of Earl Grey tea. And thumbprint cookies filled with rose petal jelly are absolutely divine. Flower–blossom jellies also make interesting fillings for jelly–roll cakes, and can be warmed for a unique pancake or ice cream sauce.
You can find my products at the following location, or contact me directly.
O's Eatery an American Diner
309 Rigor Hill Road
Chatham, NY 12037
Email me directly at email@example.com.
You can also find me online on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
I look forward to hearing from you !