Jam Notes: The Mystery of the Disappearing Syrup . . .

child eating ice cream with syrup

By Gina Barber
Cameron, NC

Editor’s Note: I enjoyed reading Gina Barber’s story about making syrup with Pomona’s Pectin and her family’s reaction to low-sweetener syrup so much that I had to share it with you. Gina says: “The little one in the picture is exuberantly enjoying his ice cream with syrup based on Peach All Fruit Jam.”

Seeking a solution to the “diabetic wants jams that taste GOOD” problem, I discovered Pomona’s Universal Pectin, which then led to “The Mystery of the Disappearing Syrup.”

I have been experimenting all summer, much to the delight of The Son, The Daughter, and ESPECIALLY The Husband. Who discovered that my answer to the question “how to decorate a waffle without buying artificially sweetened (aka “fake”) syrup” also answered HIS question – “What should I put on my ice cream?”

And then it got really challenging . . . because the syrup keeps disappearing . . . and the jars are taking road trips with The Children, and coming home empty (worse than the gas tank did when they were teens). Because everybody wants “Mama’s syrup” on their pancakes . . . and waffles . . . and ICE CREAM . . . and anything else that will sit there long enough for them to pour some over it.

And having learned the joys of travel, those darn jars want to go everywhere with everybody . . . to Pa’s, and Granny’s, and all the other kinfolk. (Even those who haven’t been here yet have chimed in – telling and texting us to “reserve” a jar of their favorite fruit.)

six jars of syrup

Of course, we also participate in those “incentive programs” to convince kids to cook, so the Girl Scout troop needs some for their Bavarian Waffles, and the Boy Scouts should get rewarded for cooking pancakes in the wilderness, right? Because the Scoutmaster and the Girl Scout Leader shouldn’t have to deal with kids on a sugar high when we have stuff that tastes like THIS with no added sugar! And now those darn kids are planning menus around syrup . . . whatever happened to S’mores? Oh, so you think they need to be dipped in syrup? Well, that might actually work. . . .

Now peaches and blueberries are taking up all the counters and refrigerator space . . . and people are actually VOLUNTEERING to pick more blackberries . . . and the grapes are starting to turn . . . and The Family is already asking if grapes make good syrup and how will we know if we don’t try some in every variety? (We have three kinds on our farm.) And The Daughter has a business trip to the North Carolina mountains, so shouldn’t she bring Mama some apples? Plus The Son is heading to West Virginia to visit The Girl, and she’ll need syrup. Being a real sweetie, she’ll send back whatever is in season, though, so then that will need to become syrup. . . .

Ice cream with peach and berry syrup

Vanilla ice cream with Blueberry and Peach Syrups and a sprinkling of pecans


Anyway, I’ve uncovered the mystery of the disappearing syrup . . . and the only hope for resolution of the situation is to make more syrup! So I placed another order for the whole Pomona’s Pectin deal today. Thanks a whole bunch for the “how to turn a jelly recipe into a syrup” instructions. 

Tops of jars of syrup

Simple Classic Strawberry Syrup, Blackberry Wine Syrup, Blueberry-Vanilla Syrup, and more


So far, all of our “experiments” came from the recipes on the website or from Allison Carroll Duffy’s book, Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin (which is awesome). Hoping that by next year, we will be experienced enough to start converting the old family recipes to a healthier version.

Bless y’all and Thank you!

Photographs provided by Natural Spark Photography for use by Pomona’s Pectin and may not be published, broadcast, redistributed or aggregated without express permission.

Click here to read more about Gina’s experiments with syrup and sweeteners.

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