Saturday, 13 September 2014

A praise to jam - goodbye summer

Are there many delights better than jam? Sweet, sticky, ruby red jam spread over hot buttery croissants. Dark damson slathered over melting butter on toast. Or even a spot of rhubarb or blackcurrant baked into the depths of a sponge pudding.

I love jam, and there are always jars lined up in the fridge in various flavours, ready to be seized at a moments noticed for a speedy breakfast, or a sneaky midnight treat. But none of that watery, cheap nonsense, jam always has to be the best quality you can afford, or even better - homemade.

And as summer is finally drawing to a close, jam is the best way to conserve some of those brilliant flavours to brighten up a dreary winter’s day. And right the hedgerows are ripe with blackberries and the trees are heavy with apples - so get out there and go foraging for nature’s freebies.

Get them before the birds do!

Apple crumble anyone?

I have never made fruit jam before. I've made chili jam, which ended up with an unfortunate 'streaming eyes' moment when I rubbed my eyes hours later. But at least it tasted good! That was years ago, so I feel the need to experiment with molten sugar and fruit very soon.

But I have recently received a lovely jar of jam as a favour from the wedding of my beautiful friend Hollie to her very dapper husband Reid. Her mum made jars of strawberry jam to put on the table, which was a very personal touch to a very beautiful wedding.

Once home, depressed the festivities were over, I tucked into the jar to spread over a warm croissant for breakfast. The jam tasted like a summers day, sweet with lovely chunks of fruit - a very tasty jar of sunshine. Thank you very much Alison - you've got me in the mood to get preserving!