Enterprising local volunteers Kerri Mingo, left, Joan Law and Barb Matfin reached above and beyond to get the crap apples, prepare and donate Smokin’ Crab Apple jelly to the 100 Mile District General Hospital Auxiliary to then market as a fundraiser for the benefit of the local hospital. Submitted photo.

Smoky Cariboo crab apples make sumptious jelly

Hospital auxiliary markets fundraising sweetness of staff and friends

Three local women have been busy this fall creating a fundraiser for the local hospital by preparing Smokin’ Crab Apple jelly with fresh crab apples from the “ER tree.”

The jelly will be sold and the funding distributed by the 100 Mile District General Hospital Auxiliary, both through the society’s gift boutique in the hospital’s emergency room lobby and at its booth at the upcoming Christmas Market at the 100 Mile Community Hall.

The hospital staff member who made the jelly, Barb Matfin says she has been cooking and canning up the delicious crab apple jelly from this very tree for many years, waiting for the frost to turn the apples as red and as sweet as crab apples can ever be, and then gifting it to her friends and family.

Over the last few years, the maintenance staff have been picking them off the old tree, presumably to reduce bear attractants, and offering the fruits to her for her jelly – or others, if she wasn’t around at the time.

Now, Matfin has turned the tides to donate the jelly to the hospital auxiliary with crab apples that, along with the tree, have “survived the smoke” of this summer’s season of massive wildfires in the South Cariboo.

Adding some unique to their boutique, Matfin says “discerning taste buds will maybe be able to detect a hint of smoky flavour,” in her jelly.

Auxiliary member Joan Law is Matfin’s friend and a relative by marriage and immediately jumped at the idea to market the jelly for medical equipment for the comfort of the patients, nurses and caregivers, which fits right into their society’s mandate.

Law was quick to gather up extra jelly jars and sugar donations, from their family and other auxiliary members, that provided a great boost to the project, Matfin explains.

The third volunteer is local graphic designer Kerri Mingo, who created a jar label for the jelly, Matfin explains.

“Kerri is an awesome artist and I [just knew] she would come up with something great.”

The auxiliary members will be vending the jelly at the Christmas Market happening at the 100 Mile Community Hall on Nov. 17 (from 5 to 9 p.m.) and Nov. 18 (from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.); and afterward at the society’s gift boutique in the hospital emergency room lobby, while supplies last.

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