19 Uses for Summer Jam

by Engrid Winslow

  1. Swirl your favorite fruit jam into a bowl of yogurt and granola. In the bowl above, I blitzed some of the cranberry sauce with an immersion blender and swirled it into vanilla bean yogurt. Then I topped it off with some of the whole cranberries from the sauce and my favorite homemade granola.
  2. Use your jam for filling in homemade pop tarts.
  3. Top pancakes, waffles, or French toast with a big spoon of warmed jam. And a dollop of sweetened whipped cream!
  4. Or make a simple maple fruit syrup by heating some jam with pure maple syrup in a saucepan on the stovetop. Then spoon it over your favorite breakfast pancakes, waffles, or French toast.
  5. Stir jam into a bowl of steaming oatmeal or steel-cut oats, or into overnight oats.
  6. Make fruit butter for your favorite muffins or breakfast breads by beating together butter, a dollop of jam, fresh orange zest, and a touch of almond extract.
  7. Top a toasted bagel or English muffin with cream cheese or ricotta and a spoonful of jam.
  8. This smoothie couldn’t be easier to make. In a blender, combine 1 cup fresh-pressed apple cider, 1cup jam, 2 frozen bananas, 1 cup yogurt, and a dash of cinnamon. Blend until combined. Makes 2 large servings.
  9. Add a spoon of jam to a tall glass with ice and pour in cold and bubbly club soda. Muddle and stir to combine, for a refreshing homemade soda.
  10. Swirl a spoon of jam into a vodka or gin cocktail with tonic water over ice. Or stir a bit of it into your favorite margarita!
  11. One of my very favorite uses for jam involves meatballs. In a large skillet, heat 1 cup jam, 12 ounces chili sauce, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Fold in a 22-ounce bag of your favorite frozen cooked homestyle meatballs, thawed. Stir every now and then, until heated through. Top with chopped fresh parsley, if you like a little touch of fancy. Serve as a main entree with mashed potatoes or as an appetizer with party picks. This simple recipe delivers BIG flavor.
  12. Construct a delicious grilled cheese sandwich with layers of leftover turkey and a tart jam such as sour cherry, plus sharp cheddar. Or try apricot jam with brie and sliced ham.
  13. Make a glaze for roasted or grilled meat such as chicken, pork, beef kabobs or turkey by thinning jam with a bit of white wine, apple cider vinegar, stock or water.
  14. If you like to make your own salad dressings, try incorporating a bit of jam into your favorite balsamic or red wine vinaigrette.
  15. Here’s a super simple one: just add some jam to your favorite BBQ sauce.
  16. You won’t believe how wonderful a spoon of jam is over a slice of cheesecake or you can use it as a sauce on a simple chocolate cake instead of frosting
  17. Slices of angel food cake or pound cake are irresistible when topped with jam and whipped cream.
  18. Make thumbprint cookies, filled with a dollop of jam after they cool.
  19. And it doesn’t get much easier than this: Warm the jam and spoon over scoops of vanilla bean ice cream.

 

 

BBB Seed’s Wildflowers to Attract Butterflies and Birds

by Heather Stone

Photo of two birds on a birdbath.

Photo courtesy of pixabay

It brings great pleasure to see more birds and butterflies about the garden and we as gardeners can do a lot to attract and protect the birds and butterflies that visit our garden. These critters simply need a safe place to live and healthy food to eat.

Wildflowers to attract butterfly and birds seed packet.

Butterflies

For butterflies, providing food (host plants) for caterpillars, nectar sources for adult butterflies and a safe place to overwinter can all be accomplished in a small area. Caterpillars of some species of butterflies have very specific larval host plants, while some will eat a wide range of species. Nectar is the primary food source for most adult butterflies. Planting nectar-rich plants in the garden is sure to attract more butterflies. Depending on the species, butterflies overwinter in all stages of life from egg to adult. Some places they overwinter include leaf litter, the bases of bunch grasses, rock piles, brush or wood piles, behind loose tree bark and near their host plants.

 

Birds

Just like butterflies birds need healthy food to eat and shelter. Start by planting native plants in your garden that provide seeds, berries, nuts and nectar. Shrubs and trees, especially evergreen species, provide excellent shelter and nesting sites for birds. Birds also need a year-round water source such as a bird bath. Providing nesting boxes and offering food in feeders will attract even more birds.

Photo of an orange and yellow butterfly on a marigold bloom.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.

Try planting our Birds and Butterflies mix to attract more birds and butterflies to your landscape. The mixture of annuals, perennials, introduced and native wildflowers is designed to attract butterflies over a long season of bloom from spring until fall and a variety of birds to the seeds come autumn.

 

Sources:  Gardening for Butterflies, The Xerces Society

https://www.nwf.org/sitecore/content/Home/Garden-for-Wildlife/Wildlife/Attracting-Birds