I had plans for today. Part of those plans involved feeding my family well and the rest of those plans involved sewing in the free moments between. But a chance remark made by himself threw all my carefully laid plans more than a bit out. I haven't touched my machine today and the closest I got to fabric was shifting it so that we could actually sit at the dining room table to eat like a civilised family.
What was that passing remark? Simple. - 'Look at all the elderberries that are ripe down at the end of the garden, girls.' Uh-huh, that was all it took. Because then they asked what you could make with elderberries, and Emily got on the computer and looked up recipes, and before I knew it the girls were outside gathering in as many berries as they could.
Making jam had not been in my plan anywhere. I have never made jam. We don't use a lot of jam. Emily detests toast, or so she claims. Helen would rather have a bowl of cereal, or pancakes, or french toast, or a fry up. So no jam consumed at breakfast time here. That was neither here nor there. Before I knew it my two mini monsters were busy stripping the berries from those clusters they grow in and measuring until they had four pints.
They even measured in the six cups of sugar. (Six cups!!)
You can guess who did the rest. The standing over the pan and bringing it to a very - very - slow boil. Who stirred frequently, as Emily pointed out conscientiously the recipe told you to in the instructions. Who put it in the jars - which was a very messy job in itself. Because I have never made jam before I do not own a jam funnel. Why would I?
And muggins here put them in boiling water for ten minutes to make them sterile so our jam will be good for a whole year. A whole year! Isn't that wonderful. Because I tried a little taste and, guess what, I don't really like it. Too sweet for my taste. Helen came to me, quietly and out of hearing of Emily, and told me she wasn't that keen either.
So I spent the best part of the day making jam that most likely will not be eaten. Joy! Anyone want a jar of Elderberry Jam? I have six. I am sure we can spare some!
On the bright side, the confit of duck legs was a smash hit. And Helen instructed her dad on how to make an apple crumble. Please note - he does not make a very good student! But the crumble was delicious. So we are a well fed family. We just have a bit of overstock in the jam department.
Sounds delish! Why not eat with the pancakes as a hot sauce, or over ice-cream, or a smoothie, or cool with plain yoghurt! If not you know my address! though postage would be awful!ReplyDelete
Oh dear! Living in Tiptree means that whenever I need jam, I just nip down to the jam factory. I have never made it myself, so full marks for making it!ReplyDelete
LOL! You and Leanne (She can quilt) are a right pair of jammies! You could always give it to the girls' teachers at Christmas inside homemade mini patchwork stockings! JxoReplyDelete
I would love some of your amazing jam but wouldn`t put you to the ridiculous expense of sending it here. Enjoy! I love jam and homemade even better. I thought you would have been making elderberry wine or is that elderflower??ReplyDelete
You could have made wine??????ReplyDelete
Lol at Sheila, she has the right idea. Although maybe not such a great make for the girls :-) But I think Judith is on the right track, put them aside for your Christmas gifts and into hampers, everyone loves a pot of homemade jam. I remember my mother making jam (we had a big fruit garden) and all those muslin cloths draining into pots all over the house put me off for life. I'm scarred. Seriously. Oh, and did you see I changed my profile name just for you. See, I love you really :-)ReplyDelete
Lol! I'm with the others- Christmas presents anyone?ReplyDelete
Yes, definitely Christmas presents!I like the idea of Jam much like I like the idea of fine bone china an a butler...ReplyDelete
Oddly enough I had similar thoughts myself the other day when I realised there are elderberries everywhere this year! I'm thinking of making cordial, but I think i may have to try some jam now, with a bit less sugar!ReplyDelete
Sounds like a lovely afternoon, well the picking does! The stirring, not so much! The teachers and assistants at school would love them as Christmas presents - or save them for a donation to the Christmas Fundraiser, they'll go down a treat!ReplyDelete
I haven't made jam for years!ReplyDelete
LOL Such a yummy mummy arent you?! Bet you're really kicking yourself for forgetting about homebrew ;-)ReplyDelete
Has it set yet? My only attempt last year turned into a giant wine gum!ReplyDelete
Gifts - you can give them as Christmas gifts to the neighbours/teachers /whoever.ReplyDelete
I've never made jam either. You get brownie points for doing it. You're a good Mum!
I can tell you were thrilled with your alternate afternoon but there is always tomorrow for sewing. How is your stirring arm holding up?
Definitely pretty lids and teachers' presents - did you use too much sugar, do you think? I make hedgerow jam with elderberries, brambles and Bramleys (2:2:1), with 1 lb of sugar to 1 lb of fruit, and it is really delicious - the most popular with B&Bs who always ask to buy it.ReplyDelete
Yum. I was just thinking...a jar of that lovely jam could totally count as a goodie in the swap. Handmade was the only requirement :)ReplyDelete
Ha ha ha, This has happened in our house before too. Although it was last years plum jam that didn't work out as planned.ReplyDelete
Today, after computer time and some Brownie planning, I am making jam :-) fingers crossed !