Saturday, August 8, 2015

Peaches are BAAACK!

After 5 years, we have finally brought back the elusive pickled and brandied peach. Our peach farmer is Dennis Flood from Kingsburg, California and he hand picks these fresh cling peaches (the Ross variety) that make the finest pickling peaches available. In fact, we don't know any other company that makes pickled peaches the old-fashioned method. Pickling peaches is a two day process. The peaches are picked on a Monday, and immediately brought down to our factory in Sierra Madre the same day. The next day, we flash cook the raw, fresh peaches in hot, boiling water to remove the outer layer of "fuzz". Then they are cooled in water. Then our employees hand  loosen the pit, and remove the stem on each peach. They are finally cooked with sugar and added spice (like cinnamon and clove) and then meticulously hand placed in the jars. The pickled peaches also receive a nice whole clove on the side of each jar and our brandied peaches receive a measured amount of brandy.





Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jammin into history




Part of E. Waldo Ward & Son's history is the tools and vehicles that have helped build our business from the beginning. It is great to look around and still see many historic items still in use. If anyone has been to our place and taken a tour, most likely you have seen our old Chevrolet truck. Edwin Waldo Ward, Jr. purchased the truck in 1952 for $2500 from Pasadena's Clay Chevrolet. It came complete with an optional stake bed and heavy duty springs. The first oil change cost around $6.50.


Original Bill of Sale - Total with options and tax was $2526.10


Truck loan for $1000


The first oil change for a total of $6.59



It has been well used over the past decades picking up supplies, fruits and vegetables and making deliveries to customers, it now sits proudly in our garage as if it was brand new. About 10 years ago, Richard Ward (third generation) and his son-in-law, Al Benko, carefully restored the truck to its original glory; completely stripping the truck down to the frame. At the time when we purchased the truck, the most common, standard color was a dark forest green. Sometime in the 1970s, it had been painted white. We repainted the original green color after much sanding and rust repair.

Recently it was featured in the Sierra Madre Fourth of July parade honoring the Ward family as the grand marshal. Richard Ward has also taken it to a couple of car shows in Pasadena and Sierra Madre. It represents not only E. Waldo Ward & Son's history but the history of the local community. We are the city's oldest existing business.

It now shines brightly as a part of E. Waldo Ward & Son's rich history. Come by for a visit...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wildlife Outside our Window

Our location at the foot of the San Gabriel's affords us the treasures of great mountain vistas, quiet neighborhoods and wildlife! It isn't uncommon to look out our office windows onto the orchards and see a coyote trot by, in broad daylight no less, or like yesterday, two youthful and beautiful deer paid us a visit, no doubt making use of any fallen fruit on the ground. It is a daily activity here to watch squirrels, lizards, and of course birds, make their rounds and enjoy the variety of greenery on our property. We have one coyote in particular that is a bit straggly looking, and has been with us for over a year, hopefully he, too, is getting his daily dietary requirements of fruit! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Gabriel_Mountains There was a visit from a bear some years back who decided to climb one of our trees, maybe he wanted to pick the fruit himself, but, thankfully, that is a rare event here. Bobcats, skunks and hawks soaring over are far more common, than a bear sighting. The famous Pasadena swarm of loud squawking green parrots frequent the property on a regular basis, as well, perhaps drawn here by the wonderful smell of our food products cooking. Check out the article here: http://www.sierramadrenews.net/2k7/december/bear2k7.htm

And that is another benefit to working at E. Waldo Ward, the wonderful scents and smells that are also a daily comfort. Often even driving to work one can smell chili sauce cooking or strawberry jam, from blocks away. We sometimes wonder how our neighbors manage to live that close with all those delicious scents filling the air every week, and not gain weight! We are certain that it is the trail of those enticing smells that lure visitors here time and again, telling us they had no idea we were here, even though they have lived in the nearby area for decades. Visitors like to stroll the grounds, bring their children to see what the area used to look like, and how a small fruit ranch works. When the orchards bloom in early summer, or late spring, the lilting scent of orange blossoms is especially lovely to experience. It isn't hard to imagine in the quiet of the orchard, with nature's creatures visiting what it was like a century ago, when it all began here.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Read the Labels

Sometimes people ask us why our products are different than the big store brands. The answer is simple yet complicated. Read the labels... Our jams are made using old-fashioned cane sugar and not corn syrup. No additives and definitely no preservatives. Only locally sourced ingredients as much as possible (yes, our berries come from the Pacific North West).

Also, we make our jams in small batches for a couple of reasons. One is to turn the stock around in a short amount of time so that we always have fresh products. The second is for better control of the cooking process; it is easier to manage smaller batches to maintain color and flavor than a large kettle which would take longer to boil and finish off.

We have all heard about the side effects of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and how it spikes your insulin and is a major cause of obesity. I see many barbecue sauces and other marinades on the market containing HFCS and added preservatives like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. They might be cheaper to make but the flavor doesn't compare to our barbecue sauces containing natural cane sugar and absolutely no preservatives. Chemically HFCS is much sweeter than regular sugar therefore the manufacturer can use less and the cost is much less. There is a noticeable difference in the flavor profile between a barbecue sauce made with HFCS and one made using cane sugar; a much sharper sweetness that dissipates fairly quickly leaving an off-flavor on the tongue. We prefer to use ingredients you would use in your own home for the freshest flavor. Your tongue is smart.

Rest assured, E. Waldo Ward has never used HFCS or even regular corn syrup in our jams or sauces. You can call us old-fashioned - we like that. Come take a look at www.WaldoWard.com and read the labels.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Fever

Okay, let's face it, I am anxious for this misty overcast weather to be over. Let the sun shine! Here we go with our first blog. I just learned how to "tweat" and "facebook" so bear with me as I begin a new journey with blogging.

First , we have been working hard on a couple of new items for release this year. One is ready to go and the other is still in the creative phase. The first product is a Mexican Red Sauce which seems like it doesn't belong in E. Waldo Ward's product lineup. Actually this sauce is absolutely the best cooking sauce for any type of meat I have ever had. The flavor is similar to a enchilada sauce but made for carnitas (pork), carne asada (steak), peces (fish), or even huevos (eggs). I modeled it after an excellent sauce that I fell in love with from Trader Joes which they no longer carry.

The second product we have in mind will be for the fall. We are planning on introducing a cranberry and apple sauce with walnuts. Although we still haven't finalized the ingredients yet, we think this will be a great addition to any gourmet holiday meal.

Wow, our first "blog" and it wasn't too difficult. I look forward to sharing more information about our company's history, our products, and what we are up to with all of you.

Jeff Ward