Jelly Vendor

Driving the Texas highways (which is my neck of the woods), there are often vegetable stands in the spring and summer that tempt me to stop to peruse their offerings. Still, I was surprised to see a truck at a highway intersection in midwinter offering Mahaw jelly. When the man waved at me, I decided it was a worthy chance to stretch my legs after six hours of driving. As you can see, I also fell for the jelly!

Mayhaw jelly

Mayhaw jelly

As he battled the wind to stand upright, the vendor told me that a “mayhaw” is a berry from a particular Hawthorne tree that grows in “low-lying” areas (read that as “swamp”). The fruit is ripe in May, thus the name. He and his wife gathered the berries to make jelly as a hobby. That’s a good thing because at $5.00 per jar, on a lonely stretch of highway, this would be a hard way to make a living.

Though I had heard of mayhaw jelly before, I had never in my life experienced it. It’s delicious, so I will be sad when I eat all of this(which might be before this week is out, as I am not inclined to share!). I guess I’ll just have to call the number on the jar for Fatfrog’s Jelly and hope I can get some more.

Have you ever had mayhaw jelly? Does it grow where you live?

  19 comments for “Jelly Vendor

  1. January 25, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I’ve never even heard of mayhaw jelly, but your picture looks scrumptious!! I can’t believe the things you stumble across on your travels. It also amazes me that someone would stand on a lonely road and sell jelly for $5.00 and that you would actually stop because they waived at you. My first thought would be that he would be like the I-55 killer or something. LOL I think visiting you would not only be fun, it would open my eyes to some fabulous adventures.
    .-= Jessica The Rock Chick´s last blog ..I Am A Rock Star =-.

    • January 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm

      It’s my Muse that does it, Jessica. She gets me into all kinds of trouble. Now that I think of it, stopping just because he waved was kinda stupid. Fortunately, you won’t read about me on the six o’clock news…this time.

  2. January 25, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Having never heard of much less tasted Mayhaw, I had to go looking for info. Just in case Fatfrog can’t be found, here another source
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..Witty and Wonderful =-.

    • January 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm

      Fortunately their phone number is on the label, but thanks for the link. I’ll buy from them next time, because I know their jelly! I asked if they had a website & the reply was, “I think so. My daughter was working on one.” How can you “think so?” Obviously, these folks live in the country and haven’t kept up with the digital world 😆

  3. January 25, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    I wonder how many jars he sells on that highway? I have never heard of it… but I know I would love it — it looks delicious! Is this a plant that grows in Texas? I’m so tired of the dead of winter — anything fresh like that looks scumptious!
    .-= Susiej´s last blog ..How To Make Intense Flavored Chili =-.

    • January 25, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      I think the plant is found mostly in Southern Louisiana & south Texas. It’s pretty swampy down this way. I looked for pictures on the internet, and it seems to be a bright red berry. Again, I’ve heard of it, but had never tasted it until yesterday. That must mean the tree doesn’t grow in North Texas, because my Mamaw either jellied or pickled anything that didn’t move fast enough!

  4. January 28, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Hi Shelly! I read your blog regularly through my bloglines account. Your mention of mayhaw jelly brings me out of the woodwork to comment! I am in south Louisiana and have had the great fortune to gather mayhaw berries and make the jelly myself! It is very delicious and the color is beautiful, isn’t it? It’s been a few years since I’ve had any of the jelly but your post makes me very hungry for mayhaw jelly and biscuits! It is also good if you make a sheet cake and spread the jelly on the cake while warm and add some shredded coconut. Yummers!

    • January 31, 2010 at 6:51 pm

      I’m going to try the sheet cake, Annie. Thank you for sharing that idea. I can’t believe I’ve missed mayhaw jelly. I am now a devoted fan! I appreciate your readership (and you coming out from hiding).

    • ANITA
      August 10, 2010 at 4:13 pm

      My mom used to make the “jelly cake” too….I was “scrumptious”
      So excicted I was able to purchase some on our trip to Houston – what a thrill – it was my favorite purchase of the trip!

  5. Claire Travis
    July 23, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Hi Shelly,

    I’m so pleased to hear that you like Fatfrog’s Mayhaw Jelly. Micki Allen is my mom and she makes the jelly in her home as a hobby, as you mentioned in your blog. She did have a website, but cancelled it a few months ago as she prefers to do things the old fashioned way. If you phone the number on the jar, either my mom or Ricki will help you. If they don’t answer, leave a message and they’ll get back with you as soon as they can.

    She takes pride in her jelly and it’s always the best quality that you can find. If any of the batches come out too runny or just don’t live up to her expectations, she throws it out (or pawns if off on her kids, which we don’t mind one bit!).

    Just a few more ideas for what you can use it for: I grew up eating mayhaw jelly and peanut butter sandwiches, mayhaw jelly with butter and biscuits and cakes or muffins with may haw jelly spread on the top just after they’d come out of the oven. One of my favorite treats as a little girl was to eat it straight out of the jar!

    I will tell my mom that you liked her jelly so much; it will make her day. 🙂

    Kind regards,
    Claire Travis

    • July 23, 2010 at 6:45 pm

      Claire, thank you for stopping by! Your Momma’s jelly is marvelous! Or, should I say “was.” I rationed myself with it, and it lasted for several months. Unfortunately, the tag fell off of it, so I don’t have her contact info. I had that jelly on peanut butter, on biscuits and muffins, on waffles … and yes, straight out of the jar. You don’t know how many times I have kicked myself for not buying more when I had the opportunity!

      You are lucky! Take her “cast offs” any day!

  6. Andy
    July 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Hi Claire! I am fatfrogs son, and here jelly is a part of my daily life. I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day using one of her delicous flavors! Oh and Shelly they are definitely down home people who haven’t quite caught up with the techonolgy age. That just means the jelly is that much for pure, and original!

    • July 23, 2010 at 6:46 pm

      I could tell from talking to them that they were not fond of technology, Andy. It’s probably a good thing, if your Momma wants to keep this a “hobby.” If people find her on the internet, she will never get to leave the kitchen!

      • Ms. Mac Mac
        July 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm

        Hi, Shelly: I am Fat Frog’s mom. She is not fat, though. Her many domestic talents were learned at the knees of her two dear
        grandmothers. My mom, age 95 and still doing well, taught her to sew, can, cook, and quilt. (I have a head for business!! No domestic talent whatsoever.)

        Her other Granny taught her to play cards. You YOU DO NOT WANT to challenge her to a game of Rummy, trust me!

        You would probably love her homemade chicken ‘n dumplings and homemade bisquits and sausage gravey. She begins the yummies by making a little well in her flour bowl, and gently mixing just the right combinations of each ingredient. Her apple butter is to die for!

        Mr. Fat Frog is equally talented. They are retired and have the
        ability to have all this fun now, and have met some of the nicest folks with their jelly hobby.

        We are blessed! Ms. Mac Mac

        • August 10, 2010 at 12:38 pm

          You are so funny, Ms. Mac Mac. I love it that you are more computer literate than your daughter … but I’ll take her jelly over a web site any day of the week.
          They sound like a wonderful couple … and I will never ever challenge her to a game of rummy!

  7. ANITA
    August 10, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I was raised in the “Piney Woods” of Texas and grew up with my mother making Mayhaw jelly every year. I now live in Florida and do not have access to the jelly. I was in Texas outside of Cleveland this past weekend and stopped at the crossroad where the couple was selling Fat Frog’s Mayhaw Jelly….what a TREAT!!!! Wish we had purchase several more jars. They were not at the spot when we drive back through early Monday morning. Also wish they had a website so I could order some sent to me here in Florida. If you have never tried Mayhaw Jelly you are missing a wonderful tastebud experience!!

    • August 10, 2010 at 6:10 pm

      You found Fat Frog!! How cool. You can still order the jelly, if you have the label on the jar!

  8. Peter
    February 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Hey Shelly! I tried Mayhaw jelly for the first time and fell in love with it instantly. I’ve been scouring the net to find the jelly but all the places seem to charge an arm and a leg for shipping. Is there any way you can give me the number for fat frog’s so I can get a quote from them? Thanks!

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