The Jelly Queens: A Voice for All Things Food

Donna Collins

Donna Collins › Donna Collins (or "MommaDonna" as she is affectionately called) is known globally as a feng shui ...

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When I say, “We have a new TV show about to start filming,” even I cannot believe it.

After a roller coaster of a year creating The Jelly Queens, a little organic jelly and jam company, we now have a TV show. Do you know what that means? A voice. It means a voice. The Jelly Queens get to be a voice for all things food. Good, sustainably grown, farmer-friendly, local, organic, healing food! And yes Texas is a hot, juicy bed for sustainable agriculture and exceptional cooking—and that is what we will be showing you on each episode of The Jelly Queens.

So how did I get myself into this, you ask, when all I was aiming for was a little, organic jelly company?

It all started with FOX’s, mega-hit cooking show, MasterChef. 39,000 people auditioned and 100 were chosen, including me, to battle it out to become the second season’s winner. Believe it or not at the end of the show some amazing friendships were formed. And on a crisp fall evening, about six months after the show wrapped, seven of us gathered to make dinner for 200 people at one of the most beautiful homes in Dallas. Our guest of honor was Philanthropist of the Year, Emmy award-winning anchor and producer, Scott Murray. I could not keep Scott out of the kitchen, between signing books and entertaining his guests, he followed me around and just kept saying, “We gotta talk.” That night the seeds of The Jelly Queens TV show were planted. I knew being on MasterChef was gonna change my life, but dinner that night created a wave that has not stopped rolling. I call it the jelly roll – we are on a jelly roll. The Jelly Queens since that day have changed, morphed and grown. I could even say it has taken on a life of its own.

One of my mentors said to me, “Be prepared, people will come and go, there will be ups and downs, but it will be great adventure. It will take as many as 10 times to get it right, 10 incarnations, each one better than the next. Stay the course because you are spot on, keep your eye on creating a wave of delicious conscious awakening.” And he was right, partners and cast members for both the jelly company and the TV show have come and gone, and the concepts and brainstorming have been nonstop. Just like making vegetable soup, there are lots of ingredients, and a lot of people have contributed to The Jelly Queens’ creation. I knew from the very beginning that change was part of creation. What I did not know was how much I would love each incarnation of the show and the jelly company, how much I wanted each to be “The One,” how hard it would be to let things go, or how much I would love and wish blessing on those who have walked with me.

The ideas for the show have really come from the way we, The Jelly Queens, live our lives. The things that are important to us and the issues we are committed to. The ways in which we show our love. The lessons we want to teach our children about home, family, community food and the strength of women. Creating a balanced life where working hard, being devoted and having fun are combined in the same activity, and how to leave a legacy that will help future generations.

I am sure you think The Jelly Queens is a fun name, maybe even silly or frivolous; we have a great story to live and tell. The Jelly Queens is about the adventures of Texas women and their friends. Each week we will explore the rich flavors and great sounds of Texas. We are city girls who love the country and the bounty of Texas. We will highlight the best food, the best farms, the best culinary traditions, and show the importance of sustainable agriculture and organic living. Whether milking cows, picking peaches, chasing pigs, visiting great food trucks or cooking in the finest restaurants, we will learn along with you. Down on the farm, out on the town, or championing our favorite charities and nonprofits, like The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Hope for Peace and Justice, The Texas Nature Conservancy, or The Craig Oster Trust, The Jelly Queens are all about doing good while eating good.

We do this so we can help you create great meals and memories that will make everyone at your table feel like royalty. We will show how healthy, fresh, organic food can heal the body and share some good ol’ Texas music to lift your spirits. And even though it will air in Texas, everyone in the country will be able to watch it online on our website (episodes coming soon). Heck who knows, if everyone likes it maybe we will get to show the bounty of this whole amazing country!

If you are wondering who The Jelly Queens really are, know this, we are the magic women in your life. We come and go, sweep in with change and excitement, set you on a path you never thought of, show you a new way to look at what is important in your life, give you a leg up before you strike out on your own. We understand the importance of community, of gathering everyone to a common table to share in rhythms of the heart, the harvest, the earth and living a balanced, loving life. We spread our message through cooking, passing our wisdom down as we stir sweet and savory mixtures of fruit and spice. We create a revolution wherever we go, changing the way food is grown and cooked, and how families gather and communities are served.

We are grateful for the time we spend with you, no matter how fleeting….get ready we will be here soon.

Do you have a Jelly Queen in your life?

Photo Credit: Jared Mossman