How much time do I spend in the kitchen?
I must say the kitchen is my primary domain. When I am not selling pepper jellies, you can either find me in the barn, farm, or garden. After the holidays, in the cold winter months, I am in front of the woodstove. I love it though! Being able to create these wonderful pepper jellies in the solitude of our own home, at any time of the day, when it is so peaceful, especially at night when the dogs are nestled in their beds, Norman is sleeping (snoring) and the woodstove is burning, I am taking it all in. A true love from the heart. Pepper jelly making and sharing all its goodness, is my passion.
What is pepper jelly?
Pepper jelly is jelly made with garden fresh peppers, ranging from sweet and mild heat to hot and spicy, and other natural ingredients such as pure cane sugar, apple cider vinegar, other wholesome fruits and vegetables, spices & herbs, and pectin, which gives it a jelly/jam-like consistency.
How do you use pepper jelly?
The first and foremost way to enjoy pepper jelly is to spoon over cream cheese, or your cheese of choice, and spread on a cracker. It truly makes an unforgettable appetizer once you take the first bite! ~ We like to say “Simple Yet Amazingly Good!” Pepper jelly has endless uses in the culinary world though, the short list...there isn’t one, just too many!
The most popular way to enjoy pepper jelly is to use it as an appetizer. With a simple block of cream cheese placed on a platter and topped with a generous amount of your favorite pepper jelly and served with crackers, such as the original Wheat Thin or Triscuit. You’ll find other cheeses pair nicely with pepper jelly as well. Suggestions include cheddar, gouda, brie, goat and gorgonzola, try any combo. Let us know your favorite! It is such an easy and quick way to indulge in the pepper jelly goodness. And great to have on hand when unexpected family or guests arrive for a visit, so quick and easy to prepare and serve.
What many people are learning is that pepper jelly has so many uses in the culinary world.
I use pepper jelly, in, around, and on everything that comes to our kitchen table. It pairs beautifully with meats and fish dishes, vegetable and side dishes, even desserts used as a perfect topper. By adding a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, it make a wonderful salad dressing too!
What varieties do you have?
At any given time, I offer at least 12 varieties of pepper jellies including my award winning "Hot Apricot". Also in the mix, Ginger Pear, Mango, Three~Berry, to name a few. Then there are my seasonal favorites such as Ginger Rhubarb, Blueberry Nutmeg, and Cranberry Orange Clove, and many more. I'm always experimenting in the kitchen, looking for other wonderful flavor combinations!
How much sugar do you use?
All my jellies are used with pure cane sugar, just as my mother did years ago. At this time, I do not offer a low sugar variety and I do not offer artificial sugar. Although I can't reveal the exact amount of sugar because it's our family recipe, sugar is the primary ingredient of my jellies, as it is in the majority of traditional jellies.
Where do you make it?
All my pepper jellies are made with love and care in our State of Maine licensed kitchen, inspected every 18-24 months by a state food inspector, to make sure that best measures are taken to ensure a safe and healthy kitchen environment.
Are your pepper jellies organic?
Some, but not all of my fruits and veggies are organic. Most of the local farmers grow organic and those that do not are looking in that direction for the future. I use all natural ingredients and never artificial flavoring and coloring.
Where do I source my ingredients?
I do my best to purchase my fruits and veggies locally, from farmers, family, friends' backyards, and local small businesses. I pick all my berries from area farmers and we have recently planted our own fruit trees such as pears, peaches, and apples. It is so rewarding to grow and harvest from our own backyard. It brings such joy!
Where do I get my peppers?
Most all of my pepper come from the local farmers that I have met at the farmer’s markets that I participate in each year. The bountiful crops are picked fresh each summer and fall. Once I get them from my farmers, I wash, mince/puree, and get them right into the freezer, ready at hand when I make my batches, many during the long winter months.
Pepper jellies are made throughout the year, nonstop, especially in the fall during the harvest season. Our backyard is small, although we grow some of our own peppers, along with fruits and herbs, it is a still a rewarding part of my harvest.
When did you start?
In the spring of 2014, on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, I set up a card table and red umbrella on the first day of our local Wayne Farmer’s Market in our home town of Wayne, Maine. I offered five varieties of pepper jelly, including the family recipe, which I named the “Original”, where it all began. This was the beginning, an evolving venture, loving every moment moving forward.
Do you make it yourself?
I am the creator of all the pepper jellies that come out of our humble home kitchen. I make, jar, label, and date each batch before it leaves our kitchen. Three small batches are made at one time, three burners, three pots!
My husband, Norman, helps with the heavy lifting of any kind as well as selling the jellies at market. My two young adult children help with my marketing and pitch in a hand when they’re home to visit.
I am also thankful to have my sisters, family, and friends, pitch in to help especially during the harvest season and when I’m at multiple festivals on the same weekend!
I am blessed to have their support and encouragement.
Where can I buy it?
There are several ways to get our pepper jelly into your hands. You can buy it on our website or visit our seasonal shop in our 1850's barn at 536 Main Street in our village of Wayne, Maine, open mid-May to mid-October. You can also find us at local farmer’s markets throughout the summer such as the Wayne, Boothbay, and Camden farmer’s markets. Also, January through mid-March, you can find us at Longfellow's Greenhouses Winter Market in Manchester.
Follow our Facebook page for more details on dates and times. You may also see us at any of our 40 or so arts and craft shows, festivals, and special events in Maine. As of 2016, you can find our gourmet pepper jellies at a handful of upscale, specialty gift and kitchen stores around the state, many coastal locations. Please call or email me for locations, as this in an ever growing and changing venture. Last but not least, please feel free to reach out anytime, by phone, email, or in person, to make a pepper jelly exchange happen. I am very accommodating!
Do I use pectin?
Yes, I use all-natural Dutch pectin which creates the perfect jelly consistency for spreading or spooning, and also, combined with the lemon and vinegar, helps preserve the flavor goodness and freshness.
How long does it last?
Each jar has an expiration date sticker on the bottom. Use it within a year for the best freshness and flavor. Once a jar has been opened, keep refrigerated and use by the date, one year from the day the pepper jelly was made.
What peppers do you use?
All my pepper jellies, with the exception of Wicked Hot, are made with red or green Bell peppers. They offer the sweet subtle flavor and give the pepper jelly it’s natural color. Jalapeños are in all flavors, giving the mild hint of heat, a perfect amount. All my hot varieties have a combination with all, or a combination of Habanero, Jalapeno, Poblano, Serrano, and/or Fresno peppers.
What’s your most popular variety?
I would have to say my Hot Apricot pepper jelly. In a prestigious wholesale show, the New England Made Gift & Specialty Food Show, held annually in Portland, Maine, my Hot Apricot was voted by the event attendees as the #1 Best New Food Product. Needless to say, I was thrilled and honored. A truly unexpected, surreal moment.
What is your favorite?
My personal favorite is the "Original", where it all began. This pepper jelly recipe, passed on to me by my mother 25 plus years ago, became a family tradition to make and enjoy during the holidays. Also, Mango pepper jelly. I am very partial to mangos. I love fresh mangos!!
Do you use artificial flavoring?
No. Everything is natural.
How did you decide on the company name?
We named our 1850's farm house "The Grey Goose" in 2002, when we purchased our humble home in the village of Wayne, Maine. On the night of our home closing, we had a celebratory drink at a local establishment and spied the Grey Goose vodka bottle, a beautifully etched bottle with Geese in flight, and fell in love with the artistry and drink. So hence, the name stuck and when the business evolved in 2014, the name "Grey Goose Gourmet", took hold. Our classic goose logo, with the Canada Goose looking over its back, is beautifully painted on the old hayloft door above the main barn entrance.
Do you use Grey Goose Vodka in any of the products?
Yes, I currently offer a most delectable, vodka infused pepper jelly. "Cherry Noir" is made with premium black cherry Grey Goose Vodka. We named out 1850's farm house "the Grey Goose", in 2002, when we purchased our humble home in the village of Wayne, Maine.
All my other pepper jelly varieties are non-infused. Currently I offer 10 year round varieties, with 8 seasonal varieties in the mix. I love experimenting and creating new combinations, mixing and matching culinary delights.
How hot is your "Wicked Hot" pepper jelly?
My Wicked Hot pepper jelly is made only with hot peppers, Habanero being the hottest peppers I use. It may not win a heat contest but it surely could bring in a blue ribbon for exceptional flavor! You be the judge!
Do you ship outside of the contiguous United States?
No. At this time we do not ship to Alaska, Hawaii, or any of the other territories not part of the contiguous U.S. states. We only ship to the 48 adjoining states plus Washington, D.C.