It only feels like yesterday that I took up the wooden spoon and gathered the hedgerow bounty and made jam. For those who know me, you will have heard the story of my wonderful mums influence on me. She taught me so much she was a chef and food was her passion. She passed on all the knowledge and secrets of the kitchen and garden life, to me with the generosity of motherly love. You may also recall my Jam journey was born out of love for my sister, she had a desire to eat something a little sweet packed with flavour as her taste buds were been robed as she underwent intensive treatment for cancer.
I started small and cooked every pan in small batches with attention to detail, nothing has changed I still cook every pan with care and of course in small batches with attention to the details as before and my overwhelming passion has not wavered. Picking and choosing the very best in-season ingredients. I still believe every fruit has its best day.
Each and every fruit ripens to perfection at a very precise moment in time, this is its best day, so too is it mine. These days need to be saved just as your best day at the beach is remembered with a single photo. Mine is captured in a jar, by grabbing my wooden spoon and picking the ideal pan and capture that flavour. I do this with every fruit, I capture its perfect moment, by understanding each fruit and identifying the perfect ingredients that make every jar of jam. The devil is in the detail! be it identifying the flavour combinations that go into that jar and those that don’t, to the instant moment after the dew has been lifted by the sunshine to pick the Elderflower at its peak. I am not only preserving the fruit I am preserving every best moment of that day.
During my journey of preservation, I have got to know the people behind the fruit farms, the production, the growers, the pickers. It’s been rather remarkable and very, very special. I have met Tony and have taken up beekeeping, I’ve created my own dreams, helping them come true.
So when you pick up your jar of naked jam be assured that jar is filled to the brim with happiness, with wonderful tasting fruit carefully sowed, grown picked and delivered to my kitchen.
So how will I be celebrating 10 years of jam in lockdown? I will be traditionally making a cake filling it with jam and serving it with lashing of cream and of course a lovely cuppa.
If you have any memories of when you first meet me and my jam I would love to hear them. Please share your jam stories and recipes with me.
Marmalade Recipe 1.5 kilo of @Gospacitrus Seville oranges
1 lemon juiced
2.5 litres of water
2kg of sugar
Wash the oranges
Peel and slice the peel as thick or as thin as you like it to be.
Juice the oranges (ideally you need 1 litre of juice)
Keep all pipes and pith and place in a muslin cloth.
Place all the ingredients including the water into a pan and leave in a cool place overnight.
The next day, first things are first, get the jars ready to do this your need to wash your jars in warm soapy water ( or in a dishwasher) rinse and pop them in a medium heated oven for 10 minutes until dry, leave them there until you require them.
Now place your pan on the stovetop and bring to the boil,
Once at boiling point simmer for 2 hours uncovered until the peel is soft.
Remove from the heat and take out the cloth with the pith and place it in a colander to squeeze out the pectin and any juices from this little magic bag. This needs to be added to your marmalade.
Slowly add the sugar dissolving it as you add it to the liquid, once the sugar has dissolved bring to the boil. The marmalade boils and it looks very fierce and magical all at eh same time. Within 10mins you will feel the marmalade thicken on your spoon, so check your marmalade for set you require every 5 minutes or so. Once you have reached the set. Take the marmalade off the stove and leave it to settle for about 5 minutes.
Now you may find a little frothy texture on top of your Marmalade and in many recipes, it request that you place a nob of butter to disperse this however, I feel that butter should be left for your toast, so either ladle it off with a slotted spoon. DON’T loss this place it in a bowl to use as a filling for a cake or even a cocktail. It still tastes amazing, I stir mine into ice cream.
Ladle into your clean jars and lid. Enjoy with your breakfast toast. But remember marmalade can be used in many, many dishes and recipes. If you use marmalade in a recipe please feel to share and let us all know how you use your any photos of your dishes would be wonderful to see.
It may be the same book but it is a new chapter. Having said that I will return to the beginning to remind myself of who I am what is in my DNA what makes me tick, why I do what I do. So, this week I would like to thank you for supporting me on my crowdfunding journey and ask please do take me up on the voucher of cream teas and or jam deliveries, don’t forget to contact me if your undecided and I can help you with your decision.
So, let me tell you about the progress so far! I’ve taken down a wall or two I have taken out a bathroom and cloakroom! I am just about to lay the floor! So fingers crossed, in the meantime if you have any advise on building stuff let me know, as I am learning as I go along!
Well here goes I have decided to ask you to buy your jam in advance, why because COVID 19 has had a devastation effect on my business. Why will buying jam help me now? Because if you Buy Jam for every £ you spend the locals Solent LEP will match funded your purchases. Which will give naked a jam a much need lifeline. SO pop the kettle on and get the toaster ready.
I wanted to share this with you from @Elitzfoods. Because being kind and considerate can and does change lives. If you find that during this pandemic of COVID-19, you have a moment of time to share, no matter what it is, be it time to say thank you, or blog that recipe to share your knowledge, or even your skills, I urge you to do so, please pass it on. I promise you, you will not regret it. Here is what one simple act of kindness from me to Elitz that changed lives.
A few years back I had an email from a lady wanting to change and help the community in Nigeria. She was working in her family bakery in Lagos, where fruit grows in abundance, so not wanting to waste the food the local community were freezing it! However, most of it often got spoilt due to the electricity going off some times for days. So what better solution than to preserve the fruits and vegetables the old fashioned way in bottles and jars. This not only would create a solution, it would also create jobs and help the business support the community in many ways. So without hesitation emails were sent out across the UK to as many jam makers as possible to help Elitz foods and fortunately, one landed in my inbox and the rest they say is history. In her words is what happen next.
I’m hoping that this story inspires you to remember to be kind, that you all continue to say hello to the passerby, you continue to wave at people isolated in their homes even without COVID-19, be kind to the person in front or behind you and of course to yourself. And always say thank you to the lovely guys and gals who have always been our key workers. So say yes to helping others, it cost nothing but a warm heart and a little time.