By Susan Whitesell
The Rio Vista Slow Food Festival, coming June 21st, is a farm-to-table event that celebrates the rich diversity of meat, wine and produce from this area. This is the first of several articles that highlight some of the festival participants.
Vicki Rister of Vix Jammin’ Creations has been a cook since she was 7. Her unique business began almost three years ago. Although she had never before made jam, Vicki decided to give homemade jam as Christmas presents. Starting with a recipe for Strawberry Margarita jam, she soon created other varieties and gave them away as gifts, which everyone loved. Vicki has been jamming and creating new recipes ever since.
Vix Jammin’ Creations now has almost 60 delicious flavors. Popular flavors are strawberry margarita, blackberry port, apricot brandy and anything with blueberry. Fresh juices from the fruits used in the jams are the basis for a variety of pepper jellies. Vicki also makes delicious fruit jellies and marmalades including raspberry lemon, blueberry lemon and strawberry lemon, citrus melody and pumpkin orange spice. In addition to jams, jellies and marmalades, Vicki also makes two stone ground mustards: lemon sage white wine mustard made with a local chardonnay from Lodi and Oktoberfest beer mustard made with Guinness black lager. To round out her offerings Vicki makes watermelon and peach barbeque sauces, salsa and two apple butters.
All products use local fruits that are sweeter because they are picked later in the season so her products typically use 1/3-1/2 less sugar. Vicki uses farmers’ market fruits from Fairfield, Galt, Manteca and Lodi and she never turns down fruit from friends and family who have more fruit on their trees than they can eat themselves!
Vicki reminds people that “slow” cooking can also be quick and easy. A great recipe for jam and cream cheese stuffed French toast from the web site allrecipes.com is included below.
The Slow Food Festival is currently in the planning stages. Contact Tom Surh at 374-5282 to volunteer or Janith Norman at 374-6118 for information to be a vendor.
This article was originally published in The River News Herald.