Cheese and Jam for the 4th of July

June 22, 2015(updated on February 3, 2023)
cheese and preserve picnic

One of the things that I firmly believe is that my job here as the writer of this website is not just to offer up canning instructions and recipes, but also to offer up suggestions on how to use and enjoy the things you’ve made. After all, there’s no point in preserving seasonal fruits and vegetables if you never open the jars and empty them out again.

cucumber baguette raspberries

To that end, my dear friend Tenaya (aka Madame Fromage) and I dreamed up a little 4th of July picnic to share on our blogs that features a handful of cheeses paired up with preserves, crackers, and a slab of spicy pecan brittle. The cheeses are all from Trader Joe’s, so they’re quite widely accessible, and the preserves are mere suggestions. Feel free to take inspiration from what you already have on hand.

We know that we’re still a couple weeks out from Independence Day, but we figured posting this series now will give you the time to do a little preserving and make a plan for your own celebratory gathering.

three cheeses

All this week, we’ll be posting tidbits from our little cheese and preserve party. Over on her site, you’ll find the recipes for hearty whole wheat graham crackers and an easy shrub sparkler as well as tips on pairing cheeses with various jams, pickles, and other edible delights.

tenaya shooting the table

I’ll be sharing the recipes for the spiced blueberries and the pecan brittle, as well as pointing you to the cherry recipes that would best accompany this board (we used a jar of my sweet cherry chutney in the shoot and it was heavenly with all three cheeses). Make sure to check back all week long for all the celebratory fun.

Oh, and huge thanks to Margeux Kent and Peg & Awl for lending us all the pretty boards you see in the pictures above. I wanted to tuck one or two into my bag, but managed to keep my sticky fingers to myself.

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13 thoughts on "Cheese and Jam for the 4th of July"

  • Your July 4th table is absolutely spectacular! I have been put in charge of cheese and the salad for my holiday gathering. The salad is easy because everything will be from Farmer Dave’s CSA. I will get a variety of cheeses from the local cheese shop, but what to put with the cheese is more of a challenge because I am always looking to take it to the next level. Thanks to you, I will need to make some chutney to go with the cheese. I will also be taking Truffle honey from Penzey’s Spice shop in Philly (a gift) and not found here in New Hampshire.

  • I first saw this book and took it seriously while in MA awaiting the birth of my grand daughter in 2010

  • Thanks for the reminder to use what we preserve! I stopped at an estate sale last weekend to look for jars and saw a hallway lined with canned items (quart jars stacked 3 or 4 high). I asked the family about it and they said that some of the jars were dated in the late 70’s. They are going to dispose of everything but hadn’t been able to bring themselves to do it yet. I can’t even imagine.

    1. Even if they were that old. it would be worth it just for the jars and rings. They might even let you take it off their hands for free.

  • My mom used to make the chili recipe from the Blue Book. It’s good with cheese, but delicious with cold meat. –djs

  • Thank you for the suggestion…..I am thinking fig/lemon jam, gluten free crackers or bread and goat cheese…..Ball Blue book has been my canning bible.

  • Great idea, I love it! I made some pepper jelly which I’ve done with cheese and crackers, but would love another item to bring to our annual Independence Day party.

  • Thanks for the reminder that I can just have cheese & veggies for dinner. I don’t know why I don’t do that more often. If you like the wood dining aesthetic, you might like my hand carved spoons. (My name should be a link)

  • It looks so delicious. I’ve just discovered Preservation Society by Camilla Lynne… some very interesting combinations. She has a new jam for sale that is blueberry and coffee. Have you done any testing of jam recipes with coffee in them? I’m just wondering where that would fall on the pH scale.

  • The Ball Blue Book is the original as far as I am concerned. Looking at the different editions over the years reminds me of many summers of canning with friends and more importantly sisters.

  • Marc and I are making our kimchi hotter and hotter but geez, incredible flavor. Wondering what type of peppers to put in the next batch. Great for breakfast, too.