Handbags, Books...Whatever

Handbags, Books...Whatever (http://www.vickibatman.blogspot.com) is the website of Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction. Handbag lover. Avid Jazzerciser. Mahjong player. Yoga practioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Choc-aholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mayhaw Jelly fan? Join author Linda Tillis on Recipe & Book #RssosSisters #MFRWorg #whatscooking

Recipe & Book with

Linda Tillis

My husband and I love to take off for the day and travel rural roads. One day, on just such a trip, I passed an old gentleman on the side of the road. He was selling something in jars. I made a quick u-turn to check him out. I bought some wild honey and a jar of something called Mayhaw Jelly. My husband loved it. When I looked it up I found that the wild Mayhaw tree is almost extinct.

The mayhaw (crataegus opaca) is a fruit about 1/2" to 1" in diameter. Ripe from mid-April through early May, its fruit color varies from bright red to reddish yellow. It is not a desirable berry for eating raw. The mayhaw is a Hawthorne native to the southeastern states. Usually found in low, wet, slightly acid areas, mayhaws produce best on good upland soils in full sun.


Historically, Mayhaws have been harvested in backwoods sloughs, swamps, and river bottoms. Boats are sometimes utilized in the harvest of wild mayhaws. Limbs are shaken over the boat and nets are used to scoop them out of the water. 

Mayhaw Jelly 

You're going to need about one gallon or 4 ½ pounds of mayhaw fruit to yield about 12 cups of strained, flavorful juice.


Sort the mayhaws, removing decayed fruit and twigs. Wash thoroughly. Measure or weigh fruit and put in large saucepan.  For 2 quarts of fruit cover with 6 cups of water. (too much will weaken the flavor).


Bring to a boil, cover and cook gently for about 30 minutes. Cool and drain juice first through a colander, pressing fruit lightly with the back of a large spoon. Then strain the juice through a clean flour sack (or several layers of cheese cloth) From 2 quarts of fruit you should get about 6 cups of strained juice.


Measure 5 ½ cups sugar and set aside. Cook the juice at a low boil until it cooks down to about 4 cups, stirring often, being careful not to scorch. Bring the 4 cups of juice to a full boil. At once, stir in all sugar, stir as you return to a full boil and boil hard for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim off foam with large metal spoon. Immediately put into clean hot jars and seal.


My first novel, A Heart Made For Love, was set in 1903 Florida and discussed ladies baking skills.  The sequel, A Man With A Pure Heart, has some Mayhaw tarts  to drool over.


Coming soon, A Heart Made For Love is the story of a young woman's journey from victim to victorious as she discovers her own inner strength while helping others find theirs.

Will Mae’s wits and her gun be enough to protect her when the origin of her nightmares returns?

This was the moment Mae would have to prove herself. Instinctively, Mae found the little beauty and fired a round into the air. The man froze and then turned slowly toward Mae. The look on his face would have urged most men to full retreat.
“I said let her go, and I meant it. I don’t want to have to shoot you, mister.”
The man let out a bark of laughter. “You think you can hit me, little lady, before I can take your gun away from you?”
Mae stood her ground. Her heart was racing and her insides quivering, but her voice was firm. “You can try, but I warn you, I will not hesitate.”
The man had let go of Emma and now turned fully to face Mae. “You’re the reason I’m here, ain’t ya? You’re the one who put some crazy notion in her head, like she can just up and leave and get away with it. She’s got a home, and I’m takin’ her back to it.”
As the man reached out to grab Emma again, Mae fired. The man’s arm jerked in reaction to the white-hot pain. He wheeled sharply and took a step toward Mae, then stopped. He could see she had gone pale, but her grip on the pistol was firm, and her arm was rock steady."

Find A Heart made for Love at: Coming Soon from The Wild Rose Press
Find Linda Tillis at: Website

Linda, your jelly sounds fabulous. Have you made any other kinds?


Angela Adams said...

I enjoy any flavor of jelly/jam. I also like apple butter. My grandmother used it for baking when I was a little girl. As I result, I often eat an apple butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. Thanks for the post. And, best wishes with your book, Linda. Cool title!

Linda Tillis said...

Angela, I too love apple butter! My grandmother made these huge biscuits and I would LOAD then with her jellies and butters. Thanks for bringing back that memory!

vicki batman said...

Hi, Linda. I'm thinking you need to send me some mayhaw jelly. LOL. I've never been a grape fan. Mostly, strawberry and apple. When I would visit my sister, we went to a flea market and a lady outside sold homemade strawberry jam. It wasn't too sweet, she pressed through a mill and had no lumps and with a hint of lemon. Sadly, she left long ago and I haven't found a replacement. Thank you for sharing with me today!

Loretta C. Rogers said...

Linda, loved the excerpt of your book. Looking forward to reading it. Mae sounds like my kind of gal. I think using foods help enhance story lines. Good for you.

vicki batman said...

Hi, Loretta! I'm so happy you stopped by to chat with Linda! Using food in stories makes me hungry. LOLOL

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