Thursday, 14 August 2008

Jam making

I have never been successful at making jam. Chutneys and piccalilli I have mastered however, thanks to Delia Smith. But a week or so ago I discovered in a 'Good Food' magazine a recipe for strawberry jam which, the author declared, is 'pretty near perfect' . Well that is a challenge!

Now, I suppose, I had better come clean about my most disastrous jam making ordeal. In my defence it was my first attempt (or should that be offence) and I was only about 12 or 13 years old at the time.

It was for a school cookery lesson and we had been put into pairs to bring the fruit and other necessities for blackberry and apple jam. Well I volunteered the blackberries but only because I knew my parents had been picking them the day before and in any case the other girl (my partner) had said she would bring apples! So my second mistake was to miss the early bus home so that by the time I arrived in doors with the news that I was to take x lbs of blackberries the very next day, it was getting very close to dusk. And of course, unknown to me, my mother had already made use of the fruit picked previously.

To cut the story short we did manage to find enough blackberries between us, mum, dad and me and I went off to school the next day all prepared for my first lesson in jam making. I have already said it was a disaster and I'm still not sure whether it was completely due to my ineptitude or whether perhaps the teacher wasn't attentive enough. We'll never know. Suffice to say I went home with a 2lb jar of something we couldn't even get a knife into, let alone spread on bread - and my mother has never let me (or anyone else) forget it - and I'm talking 50 years ago now - so I'm assuming she never will forgive me!

Anyway back to my challenge. Bob is away this coming weekend and I am determined to have a go at making strawberry jam. This is how it should look - good enough to eat!







Once I have completed my task I will take a photo of my attempt and publish it in another post, though of course you will have to rely on my truthfulness regarding texture and flavour. And, if it all goes horribly wrong, no-one need ever know!

16 comments:

Lindsay said...

Husband is very good at Jam making. Last year we were given a whole heap of damsons from the farm - and Husband was successful in making many many jars of jam. We always seem to have a problem with setting and often have to put the jam, once cold, back into the pan and boil up again.

Maggie May said...

Well at least you have attempted making jam & it will probably turn out to be very good! I have never attempted to make jam. Seems like a lot of bother. Maybe I am lazy.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Lindsay - my problem is that I overcook it and it sets too hard.

Maggie May - not lazy just sensible - much more economic to just buy jam even the expensive sort. I just feel like trying again - not to be beaten!

A xx

Lindsay said...

How funny is that! Your jam sets too hard and ours sets only after a second cooking. Perhaps we could mix the two together?

Lindsay said...

PS: I see you like the same sort of films as me - Out of Africa, Atonement and best of all, for me, Dances with Wolves.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Yes Lindsay I noticed that as well - I love Meryl Streep in Out of Africa - I thought Atonement was extremely moving and Dances with Wolves is just fabulous, a lovely story and has Kevin Costner! A x

Sandi McBride said...

Oh I have no doubt that the end result will be utterly delicious and delectable spread on scones or toast...after all the recipe did say near perfect...not foolproof...near perfect. Thanks so much for stopping in to see me...I'll be back in to visit you, too
Sandi
ps
off to the peach farm this pm and am going to try my hand at peach jam...I've made all sorts of jams and jellies but never peach...Mac usually eats them all before I can get around to it!

rosiero said...

How did it go? You'll have to think of a new username if the strawberry jam does not go well!!!

Gill - That British Woman said...

I made raspberry jam this year for the first time in years, and have to admit it turned out great......

Good luck with your jam making.....

Gill in Canada

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Sandi - thanks for popping in - the recipe needs to be foolproof! Peach jam sounds yummy.

Rosiero - I'll have to do my best - think I'm going to stick to my name.

Gill - if the strawberry goes well you never know what next!

A xxx

ALMOST MRS AVERAGE said...

I love Jam. Do let us know what it's like as you might inspire me to have a go too. But it sounds too scary for a novice like me, left to my own devices ;-D

Jay said...

I love jam, but rarely eat it these days because I put on weight as soon as look at it. Your solid jam sounds like fruit 'cheese' - best eaten with cold meat. Some people try very hard to make it, without success! Be proud! LOL!

Hey, maybe your friends 'cooking apples' were quinces? Apparently they contain a huge amount of pectin.

cheshire wife said...

What does it matter what it looks like. It's the taste that counts and once it has been eaten it can't be seen.

Good luck with the jam making.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Hi Jay, thanks for dropping by - I can blame no-one but myself - but we couldn't eat it with anything - couldn't get it out of the jar. Lets hope this batch is more successful. A x

Cheshire Wife - you're right - the taste is the thing - thanks for good wishes. A x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

D - if this jam is successful I'll post the recipe - then anyone can have a go! A x

Dusty Spider said...

Can't wait to taste it...er..sorry, see a pic of your delicious jam! Flick x