I wish I could buy 50 jars to give to the trick-or-treaters that will come knocking this weekend, but I’m afraid I don’t have the cash, and the kids would probably think I was crazy, and sadly their parents would throw it away thinking it might be poisoned or have a razor blade in it.

I wish I could buy 50 jars to give to the trick-or-treaters that will come knocking this weekend, but I’m afraid I don’t have the cash, and the kids would probably think I was crazy, and sadly their parents would throw it away thinking it might be poisoned or have a razor blade in it. All I want to do is give them a taste of what real homemade jam tastes like. What is our world coming to? We can’t even hand out homemade caramel popcorn balls or Amish jellies anymore!

I thought I was in heaven the first time I took a bite of the strawberry rhubarb jam on my “nooks and crannies” English muffin, and I never bought any other brand again (not by choice, anyway!). Discovering these delectable, local, homemade jams, jellies and preserves two years ago hidden behind a clutter of unwanted items in the produce department, I asked the manager why this brand wasn’t placed in the peanut butter and jelly aisle, alongside all of the other jams, jellies and preserves. Evidently, due to marketing strategies, certain brands pay for premium placement in isles and on shelves. Of course, a local Amish business doesn’t have a marketing budget to pay for location specific placement in a grocery store isle. And in my view, they shouldn’t have to.

But this year, I see that my favorite jams, jellies and preserves are on the “main stage” of my shopping experience, but only for a short while.

Before supplies are completely depleted, go to your nearest Hy-Vee grocer or Stephenson’s Market and pick up a jar or two – or if you’re like me, pick up 10 or 20 – before this seasonal product is sold out! Once you have tried Dutchmade jams, jellies and preserves, you’ll never go back to the peanut butter and jelly isle again! Made by Mast Candy Kitchens LLC in Carrollton, Missouri, these Amish delights have four simple ingredients: sugar, real fruit, dutch gel and natural flavorings.

Last year when I realized my grocer was out of this beloved product, I asked the store manager for help. He called several locations until he identified one store that still had a few jars in stock.

That day, I drove to Blue Springs and bought the remaining jars, hoping they would at least last through the winter. But alas, they were gone by Christmas.

My family and I reluctantly reverted to the other brands, but found ourselves disappointed time and time again. It’s like getting used to real butter and switching to margarine or drinking Shatto milk and then switching to Best Choice. I’m still on my “buy local, buy family-owned,” band wagon, and will forever be.

One 20 ounce jar is just $3.99. You can’t beat that for quality, quantity and price!

As I stood in the isle last week with pen and paper in hand, this is what I found:

Strawberry-Rhubarb Preserves (my favorite)

Rosy Rhubarb Preserves

Rhubarb Jelly

Apricot Jam (no sugar added)

Apricot Preserves

Blueberry Jam

Jalapeno Pepper Jam

Mulberry Jam

Cherry Preserves

Raspberry Jelly

Raspberry Jam

Raspberry-Peach Preserves

Rhubarb-Orange Marmalade

Strawberry Preserves

Peach Preserves

Blackberry Jelly

Elderberry Jelly

Apple Jelly

Cinnamon Apple Jelly

Grape Jelly