By Rob McDaniel
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The annual craft show, Sights and Sounds of Christmas, will take place on Nov. 29 and 30 at the London Community Center.
The show will be open to the public from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Admission costs $2 for adults and children under 12 are free.
It will feature exhibits from 43 local artists, who will be selling handcrafted goods. Tina Blessitt, owner of Blessitt’s Homemade Jams and Jellies, will be among those at the show.
Blessitt has been canning foods for more than 23 years, but it wasn’t until she posted a status on Facebook saying she was making a strawberry jalapeño jam and someone asking to buy it, that she got in start in the jams and jellies business.
At the start, Blessitt only had offered a few flavors for sale, but as time progressed and demand increased, so has her list of products.
All of her products are made from her own homegrown fruits and vegetables, or from Laurel County farmers, with the exception of the more exotic ingredients that can’t be grown in this region.
Blessitt’s Homemade Jams and Jellies offer several flavors from three different categories:
• “Just Like Dessert” offers flavors like apple pie jelly, banana nut bread jam and pumpkin pie butter
• “Sweet With Some Heat” offers flavors like strawberry-jalapeno jam, blackberry-jalapeno jam, cherry bomb habanero jelly, habanero gold jelly and tropical heat habanero jelly,
• “Salsas, Grilling Sauces and Condiments” include sweet ‘n spicy salsa, sweet ‘n spicy black bean and corn salsa, pineapple sweet ‘n spicy salsa and cowboy candy – Blessitt’s candied jalapenos.
Blessitt’s jams and jellies have won several accolades since she began business in 2009. Her apple pie jelly was named the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Grand Champion winner at the Laurel County Fair and 2011 and 2012 Grand Champion winner of the Kentucky State Fair.
In 2010 Blessitt won three blue ribbon awards at the Laurel County Fair for her jams and jellies and in 2011 she won six blue ribbon awards.
“I initially started with ‘sweet with some heat,’” Blessitt said. “I had no idea that it would be that good. I had found some habanero recipes online and thought I would give it a try. I tested it on my daughter, she’s a very picky eater, and after I saw her reach for some more, I knew I had something good.”
Blessitt says her spicy products sell faster than she can make them.
“I think people like the sweet and spicy taste,” Blessitt said. “If you eat them with a chip or cracker, you get a combination of sweet, spicy and salty and people really like the combination.”
Blessitt’s jams and jellies have been shipped to all 50 states and even to the Middle East.
For more information on Blessitt’s Homemade Jams and Jellies, go to www.facebook.com/blessittsjamsandjellies or call (606) 312-2432.