Friday, 11 August 2017

Jam making

Once again, I have been busy making jams.

There is a very old blackcurrant bush in the garden which is smothered with bindweed and interspersed with nettles, but it bravely battled on and produced enough currants for me to make six jars of jam. Sadly it will be its last harvest as that entire bed will be dug up soon.

I have also made 10 jars of plum jam from the windfalls. I'm not sure which plum it is, but boy are they sweet! It didn't set the first time, so I had to faff around reboiling, but hopefully I'm there now.

When we started the ground works for the extension, a very large rhubarb plant had to be removed, but bless the builders, they chopped off all the stalks for me first, knowing I'd want to make something from them. I froze half and made rhubarb and ginger jam with the rest.

I really need to practice putting the labels on straight! 

Today I have made marrow and ginger jam. Like everyone who grows courgettes, you always end up with the odd monster, so I thought I'd give it a go. I only made a small batch of 5 jars initially but after tasting, everyone judges it to be a success, so I might make another batch. I used a huge yellow courgette and because I didn't think it would set without, I added liquid pectin. It did take an age to boil to setting point, but we got there eventually!

I also made about 7 jars of cucumber relish. The slugs ate my cucumber plants but my sister-in-law had loads, so I said I'd try making a relish similar to the old Cubitt's relish for those who remember it. I haven't tasted it yet as I feel it will improve with time, but it looks good. It took my flipping ages finely chopping everything but I think the end result was worth the extra effort.

A photo from the reverse to show you the finely chopped vegetables, mustard seeds and dill 

My next project will be a spicy summer squash chutney to be served with curry. Oh and the sloes will be ready soon for another batch of sloe gin. I might try a beetroot ketchup and I have lots of tomatoes to make tomato ketchup too. Blackberries will have to be foraged as well......still I have a large larder to store it all in now!


  1. You did a great deal of work and will enjoy your efforts this winter.

    God bless.

  2. Now I'm feeling guilty!
    I have a shelf with about 60 empty jars on it!
    It's my "jam" shelf but at the moment all it houses is rejects that none of us like but I can't bring myself to throw away!
    The result is a stalemate.
    I don't want to make more Jam till the rejects are eaten but no one, including me is eating them!
    Writing this makes it seem even more pathetic.
    Maybe this morning's task is to clear them all out and learn that it's no good making jams that we don't like just because the fruit was free or very cheap!!
    Thanks for a post that has given me a kick to do something about it.
    Your jams and chutneys sound yummy. Sue

    1. Would a local old persons home perhaps like them or the church or a food bank maybe? No idea if there are regulations about that kind of thing..but might be worth a try if only to clear your shelf! :) I have also pulled all the older ones to the front to try and avoid the sad unloved ones being left behind!!

    2. To be truthful I'm such a skinflint that if I can't use it in disguise somehow no one else will fancy it!
      I'm sure that there's no way any of the jars would pass the threshold of the places you suggest but thanks for the ideas.
      No, the reality is that I'll have to creep out under dark to avoid the shame of being seen disposing of what was once good food. Sue

  3. Brilliant, yes it's that time of year again. If it can be boiled with sugar it gets jammed and if can be boiled with vinegar it gets chutney'ed 😊

    1. Ha ha, that's exactly what I do. I often feel I should try to use other methods of preserving, but generally end up with jam or chutney....

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