For anyone daydreaming about a post-feast turkey sandwich to savor over the Thanksgiving weekend, Laurie Kokinda of Kokinda Farm has a secret ingredient to offer: her homemade Cranberry Orange Jam.
“At this time of year, many of my customers are looking for Cranberry Orange, Cranberry Apple, and Cranberry Grape jams,” she comments. “In general, however, the top three jams I sell are Strawberry Rhubarb, Raspberry, and Peach.” Fruit, sugar, and pectin are the main ingredients in her products.
A farmer at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market for the past 16 years, Kokinda uses as much local fruit as possible in her sweet creations. She cultivates about one acre of fruit and berry bushes, including gooseberries, currants, blackberries, peaches, plums, grapes, blueberries, and raspberries. She also grows many vegetables on an additional two acres at her 40+ acre farm in Mechanicville.
In addition to the fruits and vegetables, Kokinda Farm is also home to two goats, two horses, roughly two dozen chickens, and a few cats. Laurie Kokinda purchased the farm in 2005, after her father passed away.
“My father, Steve Kokinda, bought the farm in the 1940s, and ran a dairy farm at first, before he changed it over to Thundering Herd Riding Stable,” notes Laurie Kokinda.
Kokinda Farm sells at Saratoga Farmers’ Market all year long, and at the Malta Farmers’ Market in the summer.
In addition to loading her market table with colorful jars of jam, Kokinda also sells fresh eggs and catnip pillows, which cats like to carry around and sometimes sleep on. In the summertime, fresh vegetables and bunches of fresh cut flowers are also popular items with her jam-loving customers.
Jam-Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes
4 peeled sweet potatoes*, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil (adjust as needed)
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup fruity vinegar (balsamic, strawberry, etc.)
1/4 cup honey*
½ cup cranberry-orange jam*
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root* (or more, to taste)
Set oven to 375. Toss cubed sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place in a single layer on a roasting pan. Roast 25-30 minutes in oven or until tender.
To make glaze, heat vinegar in saucepan until simmering, and reduce by half, then add honey, jam, and ginger. Stir to combine.
When potatoes are roasted, remove and toss to coat with jam glaze. Garnish with dried cranberries or chopped nuts, as desired.