Today we made this year’s batch of mixed berry jam – this is a yearly tradition now in its 3rd year (well traditions have to start somewhere). The kitchen filled with steam and smells of Jam – lovely! We must say this has been the hardest of the years so far – in times gone by if we wanted to make jam we simply made jam, now making jam goes as follows:
1. Start to measure out fruit – sing a rendition of ‘if you’re happy and you know it’ complete with baby signs.
2. Start to measure out fruit – change a nappy
3. Start to measure out fruit – wet wipe baby
4. Start to measure out fruit – calm baby and place on baby gym with a good selection of toys.
5. Measure out fruit and sugar
6. Get out pan – put baby in the bumbo and provide with an array of spoons as toys, play for 5 mins then move baby away from cooking area
8. Stir mixture whilst singing (with baby signs) the wheels on the bus
9. Wash jars with baby on hip
10. Test jam whilst talking to baby in bumbo
11. Whilst jars sterilise – play with alphabet caterpillar
12. Put jam in jars whilst trying to sooth crying baby who is sat in the baby bouncer a safe distance away.
13. Wash up with baby on hip
14. Survey the completed task feeling despondent that for all this effort you have produced only 6 jars of jam
15. Taste jam when cold to realise that actually its much nicer than what the supermarket has to offer
16. Feel a sense of pride that in fact ‘a year without supermarkets‘ is in the words of our good friend Georgie ‘doable’ and ‘a defo poss’
And now here’s the how for the jam for those of you who can skip the baby parts and if you are making jam whilst entertaining a small baby see if you can beat our attempt and do it with only 20 baby songs sang:
1 kilo of mixed berries of your choice (we used strawberries from yesterdays Greengrocer trip), raspberries, blueberries, cherries, blackberries (from the field behind us), damsons (for pectin), blackcurrants and a little apple.
1 kilo of Sugar
Juice of 1 Lemon
Put all the ingredients in a jam pan and gently bring to a simmer, stir occasionally for the next 15 minutes to dissolve the sugar and soften the fruit, increase the heat and bring to the boil for 15 mins until the jam has reached setting point. Put into sterile jars (wash then place in a hot oven for 10 mins). Allow to cool, wipe clean and label!