Cheryl Huffman: "Really the crazy jellies didn't really come around til probably this season."
Cheryl Huffman spoke with the Missouri On Mic team at the Downtown Poplar Bluff Farmers Market in July.
She’s from Doniphan, and spoke about how the need for extra income led her to revisiting a craft she learned as a child.
Missouri on Mic is an oral history and journalism project documenting stories from around the state in its 200th year.
Cheryl Huffman: Well, I sell—I make—jellies and jams. And I do salsa and relishes and pickles too, but they don't let them sell, they don't let me sell them here.
My sister gave me a recipe on how to do salsa. And I just took it and tweaked it to my way of doing it and taught myself how to do the canning and started selling it.
Really the crazy jellies didn't really come around til probably this season.
It's something I've been wanting to do, and I just got to looking at the different recipes and there was a recipe and make soda pop jelly.
And I made several soda pop jellies, not just Mountain Dew.
I thought it was something different, you know, and it, there for a while it didn't sell. So I quit making it.
And then it seemed like this season, it really started selling so I thought, you know what, they make all kinds of Mountain Dew jellies.
So I just started making the different flavors. And over the Doniphan area, they just seemed to love it.
And I got more interested in it as I went along. And I seen stuff that other people had made, and just, I don't know, just started researching it and I just started really like doing it.
I do a lot of sewing or canning—any craft. A lot of the craft stuff... and I had someone to show me how to do stuff like that. But kids nowadays don't. They don't have a whole lot of that.
And when I was a little girl, I had an aunt, that was like a grandparent to me.
And she used to do all this stuff.
They raised my mother—practically raised my mother. My mom was real close to them.
And so they've been around us since we were, y'know, since I was a baby. And they helped take care of us. And we were really close to them.
And then whenever I was 16, my mother died.
So they took me my brother and my sister in.
Um, it changed things.
And I was really close to my mother, but I can look back at things and laugh about the things she did. And the things that she taught us. And we have funny stories.
But you you get used to it. And you miss her. But it's a different kind of missing the older you get.
The crafts that I do, you know, I do a lot of sewing or canning—any craft. A lot of the craft stuff. And because and I had someone to show me how to do stuff like that.
But kids nowadays don't. They don't have a whole lot of that.
I got one granddaughter. Her name is Abby, and she's interested in some of this stuff. So, so I try to teach her let her do some of it.
I mean, I like it, I make it and I'm really proud of myself, I think, "Oh wow, I did that."
And then I like bringing it out here and sharing it.
And I know I gotta charge some, you know, because it cost to make it, but I really try to keep my costs low because I'm not really trying to break everybody.
Just—I enjoy doing it and I enjoy meeting the people and it's you know, it's it's a lot of fun.