Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Just a Bit 'o Jam!

Hello there, hope you are all well.
Just a simple little post tonight - just a bit 'o jam making today.
An age old skill - something women (well mostly women I would think) have done down the ages, as I stood there stirring the hot, sweet, sticky stuff I thought of all the women who have stood in 'my shoes' as it were. All through the War - such an important task - preserving all the fruit they could find, and beyond - earlier and earlier. No doubt someone somewhere can tell us the earliest recorded jam making session!
I learned my jam making at my Grandmothers knee - where did you learn yours?
I know traditionally, maybe jam is made in the autumn to make good use of all the fruit available in the hedgerows, orchards and gardens, but looking in my freezer last night I decided modern day drastic action was needed.
I was doing a shop Online - so checking the cupboards, fridge, freezer and whatnot - and decided I really need to clear whats in the freezer before buying more. So I hauled out all the bags of fruit that had been carefully stashed in there last Autumn.




What a mixture I found - blackberries, damsons, sloes, apples, rhubarb and black currants!



All frozen solid of course, and not looking too appealing - but just fine for some 'mixed fruit jam/jelly!



I put them all in the jam pan to defrost overnight.
This morning I I put a cup full of water with them and gave them a good slow stew - to release all that lovely juice. I don't like bits in my jam so I make 'jelly' - I hang all the stewed fruit in a bit of muslin cloth the extract the juice.



Isn't it just a wonderful colour!



Look how it stains the muslin - so pretty.

Anyway - back to the jam! I measure the strained juice and add 1lb sugar for every pint of juice - dead easy. Put juice and sugar back into the clean jam pan -




give it a jolly good stir (over the heat) and make sure the sugar mixes in well.




Bring to the boil, and give a good rolling boil for a few minutes ( 10 minutes) and test for setting.
I put a little on a cold plate leave to cool for a couple of minutes, and if when you push the 'jam' with your finger the top 'wrinkles' - and the jam looks thick - like jam - surprisingly! your jam is ready to put into jars. If its still runny boil a bit longer and test again.




I sterilise my jars by giving a good wash and putting in a warm oven - just pull them out when ready to full with lovely fruity jam!




I saved a bit of the fruit pulp for the chickens - they do so enjoy a bit of fruit!


Even the bunnies were having a taste!
Lets hope its pepped up the old egg laying - they are a bit lacking in that department at the moment, mind you they are all 'Old Dears' nowadays. Maybe I need a couple of youngsters to liven them up.
Anyway a few jars of yummy jam, more room in the freezer, and happy chickens - a Good Day!!
xxx Take care for now xxx







13 comments:

  1. Thanks for all those yummy photos. a friend dropped off a truck load of rhubarb the other day and I spent Saturday morning doing the same. Stirring jam is just the best. Looks like all the critters in your household get treated royally

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  2. I so loved this post!
    We call that sort of jam/jelly
    Jumbleberry.
    I learned from a neighbor who lived next door. First made something called Pear honey with baskets and baskets of fresh beautiful pears she gave me from her pair of trees in the back yard.

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  3. ~Pardon me while I wipe the drool off. My jam making skills came from my Mama. I always got to "help" and snitching samples was such fun !
    Yours Looks very tasty !!

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  4. I cannot wait till the strawberries at our local farm are ready for picking, I only found the joys of jam making last year and I love it!

    Vanessa x

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  5. Never thought of giving fruit pulp to my hens - they are laying rather haphazardly at the moment - I think it is the warm weather. The youngest ones are three and the oldest about fifteen so I can't expect miracles. The jelly looks good though.

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  6. Ooo smashing, I'll fetch the bread doorsteps, you get the jam ready :) See you soon.
    twiggy x

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  7. Looks fab. My one and only attempt at jam making (at school) was a complete failure - just like toffee. Think I might give it another go with some lovely Kentish strawberries. I love the drawers by the way.
    Jak x

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  8. You can't beat homemade jam - it's great when you've got last years fruit pickings in the freezer.
    x

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  9. you star - I love it when people keep these skills alive - my grandma's, mum, great aunt all made jams jellys, chutneys, picalili's etc, and I have too for many years - the one you have made reminds me of one in the WI preserve book called "high dumpsy dearie"

    Kath
    x

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  10. Looks delish: all that's needed now is a scone or two and some lovely clotted cream ... ;0)

    Shirl x

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  11. Jam time already - better fe my jars sorted! Love the chest of drawers and the flower rack thing - what great finds you've been having!

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  12. Hi friendly carbooter!This is a very jammy post..very Tom and Barbaraish ..I think its lovely and homely.I shall try to make my own blog now ..you have inspired me...by the way I used the colourful elasticcy ribbon for the top of a red skirt from oxfam that needed customising!Thanks!

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