Jam Notes: Evie Ladd – Jammin’ for a Cure

by Mary Lou Sumberg

Author’s Note: Are there any among us whose lives have not been touched, in one way or another, by cancer? In May I had a small tumor removed from my lung even though I never smoked anything. So when Evie Ladd wrote to me about her Jammin’ for a Cure project, I knew immediately I wanted to share her story in Jam Notes.

Evie Ladd and family

That’s Evie in the middle with her husband and daughter

Twelve-year breast cancer survivor Evie Ladd lives in Palisade, Minnesota (pop. 160), a rural community in the north central part of the state on the Mississippi River. She and her husband have a home on five acres of land along the river, with a large raspberry patch, a small strawberry patch, a few blueberry plants, wild grapes that grow along their river frontage, and two apple trees. Evie enjoys flower gardening, sewing, crocheting, and being team captain for the “Team Palisade” American Cancer Society Relay for Life team.

Evie told me, “Participating in Relay for Life has been important in my journey of healing and my desire to do what I can to show my gratitude. My family and another member of my American Cancer Society Relay for Life team make and sell jam for our team’s fundraising effort. We sell at craft shows and at a small local store. We have many repeat customers who enjoy tasting the fruit in their jam as opposed to tasting sugar with a little fruit flavor.” (Read more about how Jammin’ for a Cure got started and Evie’s advice for starting a similar project here.)

Evie's daughter and friends at Relay for Life

Evie’s daughter and friends at Relay for Life

Discovering Pomona’s & Jam Creativity

A couple of years ago Evie was having a problem with her hot pepper jam setting. Her search on the internet revealed a comment from a jammer who said she always had success with Pomona’s Pectin. Evie went to the Pomona’s website and discovered the recipes used less sugar – much less sugar! As a dental professional, she decided that Pomona’s was worth a try. She ordered the smallest package to try out and now, she says, “I’m halfway through my third bulk package! Love it and love the wonderful recipes in the cookbook and on your blog.”

“I have to give Pomona the credit for expanding my jam creations,” Evie said. “It never occurred to me to add spices or vanilla to my jam recipes! The pear with fresh ginger and the peach made with maple syrup and a touch of vanilla were ‘love at first taste’! I look for interesting flavor combinations on the Pomona’s web pages and recipe book, Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin.

“I enjoy adding spices to more traditional recipes, like blueberry jam; and then I rename it ‘Blueberry Pie Jam.’ I hope to convert a Carrot Cake jam recipe this fall when my carrots ripen. It seems very similar to the “Sunrise Marmalade” (my daughter’s favorite). My husband’s favorite is Raspberry Peach. My favorite is whatever flavor I am licking off the spoon after filling the jars!”

Evie's decorated jars on the sales table

Evie’s decorated jars on the sales table

One of Evie’s best sellers is Triple Berry Jam. She freezes some of the berries as they become available, so the jam is usually a combination of fresh and frozen berries. Here are the ingredients:

Triple Berry Jam

2 cups washed, stemmed, and mashed strawberries
2 cups washed and mashed red raspberries
2 cups washed and mashed blueberries
3 teaspoons calcium water
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder

Complete Triple Berry Jam recipe here.

Evie’s advice for starting a Jammin’ for a Cure project here – plus how did she decorate those jars? Learn her fun and easy method for decorating and labeling jars.

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