Holiday Gift Guide Ideas from Sunchowder’s Emporia

December 7, 2011

With the holidays approaching, and the flurries of gift guides that are appearing, I wanted to put together a little gift guide of my own featuring some of my most popular products! Lots of love and care go into each jar and my preserves and chutneys are made the old-fashioned way, slow-cooked in French Copper Pots. I don’t use commerical pectin, corn syrup, colors or preservatives and I strive to feature local Florida fruit in many of my products. Driscoll’s berries are used in all of my products whenever my berries cannot be sourced locally.

I am so proud to share with you that my Apple Butter was featured this year in the Food Network Holiday Gift Guide!

My most popular crate sold for the holidays features a reusable hand-crafted wooden crate that is built by a fabulous company in Maine called The Neizenscot Guild. They provide employment to people with developmental disablities, traumatic brain injuries, autisim and mental illness and I feel really great about being able to feature their work. This gift comes in three flavor combinations, Exotic, Spicy and Artisan and also comes in two sizes, both my four ounce sampler size and eight ounce traditional jar.

Trio Gift Crate

The spicy jams are fabulous served over cream cheese with crackers and wine or used as glazes for Chicken, Fish, Pork or Beef. The Raspberry Pepper Jam in particular is wonderful when used as a glaze for salmon and I have many customers and fellow bloggers that have used this jam as a filling for cookies! The Artisan Trio features my Strawberry, Spiced Pear Butter and my Raspberry Chocolate–I use Callebaut Intense Dark Chocolate and finish that one with Chambord, it is really wonderful to spread onto puff pastry or use as a sauce for poached pears. My Strawberry Jam is macerated overnight using the french methods I learned from Christine Ferber. The Exotic Trio features local Tangerine Ginger Rum Jam (using Tangerines from a friends grove in Apopka that do not spray their trees), Zucchini Ginger Jam and Pineapple Tangerine Jam. The Zucchini Ginger Jam makes a fabulous quick bread which I will feature on the blog and is amazing when used with sour cream as a vegetable dip. To order a gift crate trio: Sunchowder’s Emporia

Gift Box

The second most popular gift is the simple gift box which is a lunch-boxed size cardboard box that features either two 4 oz jars or 8 oz jars. These make wonderful hostess gifts, teachers gifts, something for your hairdresser, I could go on and on! I can customize this box or it comes standard with Strawberry and Spiced Pear Butter. My Pear Butter features Boiled Cider Syrup and hand-ground nutmeg, cinnamon and clove with a citrus finish. To order one of these gift boxes: Sunchowders Emporia Gift Box

For that special someone, I also have a gift basket option. The baskets change with availablity and my plates change with availability, but the presentation is awesome! I can also customize this to fit your needs. Even better, you can think about getting gift tower boxes for those people that are simply too special for a normal gift basket!

Gift Basket


To order a gorgeous jam lover’s basket: Sunchowders Emporia Gift Basket

My single jars are wonderful stocking stuffers for the foodies in your life! The small jars have handwritten labels along with some of my seasonal flavors. The other jars have my standard labels which I designed for my retail stores. They each come topped with craft papers and either a rose bow or plain bow depending on the color combination.

Strawberry Jam

Don’t you just want to swim around in the jar?


Artisan Trio

This is a photo of the atrisan trio in the sampler sizes which comes bubble-wrapped as three individual jars. All of the trios can be ordered this way if you would like to use them as stocking stuffers.

Raspberry Pepper Jam

A gorgeous close up of an eight ounce jar. This photo credit needs to go out to: Brian Minnich Photography He believed in me and saw my vision for the company, fabulous to work with and located in Winter Park, FL.

I would love you to come and shop with me for the holidays or anytime! Stop by, post comments, I would really enjoy hearing your thoughts and getting your feedback on my products. You can join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to catch up on the daily and local musings. If you are local, you can find me at the Winter Park Farmer’s Market on Saturdays and downtown Orlando at the Lake Eola Farmer’s Market on Sundays. My products are also featured at the Home Grown Co-Op in Downtown Orlando where I am involved with Slow Food and partnering with local farmers. You can sample all of my products at the farm booth and see what lovely jams, chutneys and pickles I have on display for the taking!


Budda Pickles

June 30, 2010

Yes, they are pronounced Budda pickles, Budda with a New York accent (Butter….). The original recipe is found in a fabulous book called the Art of Preserving. This is one from Rick of Rick Picks ( These are perfect for backyard BBQs…just a touch of sweetness. I tweeked this a bit for making my own pickles, so here goes:
6 lb Kirby Pickling Cucumbers
1 Large Sweet Onion
4 TBSP Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Tsp Tumeric
2 Tsp Yellow Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp Black Mustard Seeds
1/2 Tsp Dill Seed
1 1/2 Tsp Fresh Ground Guajillo Pepper
3/4 Cup Dried Pitted Cherries (sweet)
5 Cups Cider Vinegar
1 Cup White Vinegar
3 Cups Water
Prepare cucumbers, cutting in round slices about 1/4 inch thick. Cut onions the same. Put aside in a large bowl while you are making the brine. Pour vinegar, all of the spices, water and the cherries into your non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil. Turn the fan on so that you don’t cough to death. Shut the fire after about 10 minutes. Carefully take the cherries out using a slotted spoon (now that they have come back to life) and add them to the bowl of cucumber and onion slices–stir to combine. Have your jars ready in boiling water bath. I find this recipe makes about 10 16 oz jars. Take your jars out of the bath and fill with cucumber mixture, packed tightly. Seal your lids. Immerse in water bath, boil them for 10 minutes. I have eaten these a few days later, but it is best to leave them two weeks if you can wait that long.