Home The Lost Art of Canning

The Lost Art of Canning

Making Jams, Jellies, and Butters

The warmth from the bubbling fruit changes the air here in the café from a cool autumn day to the bright fragrant warmth and smell of a small “fruit factory making their annual organic crop of pears into Jams, Jellies, and fruit butters. Pears are an autumn harvest, perfect timing to “forget about turning the heat on during those chilly mornings”, instead, we in the family, “start canning”.

The Jars are washed with soap and water, and rinsed, then to be boiled, and kept warm until they were needed. The fruit has been washed, although not really necessary because this fruit has no pesticides, herbicides, oil based toxins to kill bugs, because it is raised on 100 year old trees in the back yard of the 300 Year old Estate, known as Whitebriar.

For the Pear Butter, the fruit it “quartered” cutting out the seed pod and the stem, and using all the nutrition that is in the fruit skin which has absorbed the vitamin “c” from the sun for nearly a year. Butter is thicker than jam and jelly, and cooks for 3-4 days on low heat, until the “spoon” can stand up on its own... thick enough to support a silver spoon.

Pear Jelly is the first produce produced from the trove of greenish-golden orbs that fall from the antique pear trees. My grandmother called them “Braddock pears” from a hundred years ago. I know that name is used for a more modern tree that flowers, but never really makes any fruit. So I don’t know just what to call these pears. I do know who planted them, because a couple decades ago, a Codding reunion was held at our home. Ted’s cousins, years ago, lived at Whitebriar, remembered planting the trees.

Each year, we say, the poor old pear trees, now nearly 40 feet tall (too tall to pick the fruit so we have to wait for it to drop after a wind storm) will probably not survive another winter. Come spring, the white petals are abundant as ever, and we collect another 30 bushels –rots given to the animals here on the farm and the good ones “canned” for sale at the Green Café at Whitebriar. Nothing is wasted.

There are not very many “small time” operations left, like there was when my Grandmother taught my mother the art of “canning” nearly a half a century ago. Mom taught me. In those days, the “gift of sweetened fruit” was an “every-day staple” , used with toast bread, on muffins, biscuits or waffles. Today, I don’t know of anyone who goes to the effort of making homemade jams when you can buy a jar from the Dollar Store up the street.

Five dollars an 8 ounce jar, might seem steep, but anyone who wants to come over and help with the chore: collecting and washing the pears, sorting and cutting the dense fruit, standing over steamy pots, is more than welcome.

Carole Lokan-Moore, Owner/Cook Organic Green Café

Whitebriar Info

Whitebriar Bed & Breakfast

1029 Cooper Street
Edgewater Park, NJ 08010

Dunk’s Ferry Inn at Whitebriar B&B

1028 Cooper Street
Edgewater Park, NJ 08010

The Organic Green Cafe at Whitebriar B&B

1101 Cooper Street
Edgewater Park, NJ 08010

(609) 871-9555

(Green Cafe 7-7 M-Sat)

(609) 433-7978

(cell - anytime)

(609) 433-7979

(cell - anytime)

(609) 871-3859

(home - after 7pm)

Innkeepers: Carole & Bill Moore