Cooking Family

Creating our own summer

18/07/2012

That pesky jet stream, it lingers so.  Another day/week/month, another grey sky, more staring out of the window as rivulets of water cascading down glass blur the lush garden we can’t get out into.  It’s been time to cheer ourselves up by making a little bit of our own summer.

Now various colleagues and friends have solved their rain-drenched rustiness with trips to sunnier climes, and the goody shelf at work has boasted treats from as far afield as Australia, Southern Spain, New York (and Wales) in recent weeks, but our budget is a little more constrained and our tastes a little more homespun.

We took this

July 304

And turned it into this:

July 307

July 310

There’s nothing quite like the smell of simmering summer fruit jam to drown out the all pervading feeling of the world being wet and squelchy everywhere.  The fruit may have come from the greengrocer and not a local PYO (and to my chagrin the red currents aren’t British) but it’s none the worse for it.

And I discovered a great new use for my baby steriliser!

July 305

(I did the lids too in a cycle with the other shorter jam jars).

The jam recipe started as the basic recipe in the Superjam cookbook but I’ve adjusted the quantities and kicked out the blackcurrants.  I use:

  • 200g redcurrants
  • 400g raspberries
  • 400g strawberries
  • 3tbsp fresh lemon juice

to 1kg of jam sugar.

After lots of chopping, stirring, splatting all available surfaces and implements with warm jam, I filled four and a half jars with bright scarlet jam.

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And of course, how else can you truly test a new batch of jam but with a family taste test, all sat in a row on the bottom stair with a newly bathed Kitty curled up between us smudging splodges of jam into clean pyjamas.

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It passed – and any trips back to the kitchen for another slice (the grown ups) shall hereby be decreed to be entirely justified.

The evening’s enterprise gave us several jars of jam, now stored high up away from tiny fingers in the top of my cupboard to see us through the cold dark months, or the rest of the summer as we like to call it round here, but more than that, it brought a sense of fighting back when after so much wet grey weather the dreary dampness of it all starts to seep into your brain casting a melancholy Eeyore-ish gloom.  It’s the same feeling you get sailing a yacht through a storm, or lying curled up in a sleeping bag in a tent listening to the rain lash down on the canvas; it’s an adventure, in this case a tiny little domestic one, but an adventure none the less.

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  • mandycharlie 19/07/2012 at 12:46 am

    Looks very good, fantastic colour.