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.
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Throwback Thursday…. 😊 Today ELITZ FOODS celebrates Jen @nakedjam. Jen taught me the art of Jam making. She didn’t know me from Adam. I sent an email to several but she was the only one that replied and she invited me over. Guess what? She didn’t even charge me a dime! 😳 Today ELITZ JAMs has grown and is spreading across Nigeria and West Africa. It is creating employment and empowering domestic small holdings fruit farmers who otherwise would suffer wastage from lack of preservation. You lit a candle🕯, today it is lighting up a nation. Join me in celebrating a wonderful mentor and coach JEN!! 🍾🎊🎉🎈👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Thanks Jen! 💕💕💕💕 You are awesome!! We owe it all to you! #nakedjam #celebratingmentors #throwbackthursday #elitzfoods #makingadifference
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.
And what is means to me.
I run around hedgerows, I pick, forage and prepare the delights for jars. I am at one with the seasons, the growing moments in the garden and hedgerow, watching how it changes, it’s magical to me. It’s all I am. This is where I belong, growing, hunting, gathering, and of course in the kitchen, that my happy place, it’s where I feel at home.
I love to sit back on occasion and reflect on the delights of the season. And tomorrow I take a step back and wonder at the magic of the world, right across the globe we all witness the equal Autumn Equinox. The day and night are the same length (12 hours) over the world. As us on the north of the world celebrate the harvest, whilst the southern side will celebrate the arrival of spring, the perfection of nature is really quite remarkable, it never fails to surprise me of its knowledge.
However it was this that made me stop and wonder at the connection of us all across the globe and how we all celebrate food and the harvest. Be it here on with our “very British” quaintness in Sunday church services collecting hampers of goodies, to hand out or in our school assemblies highlighting a need to share our bounty at this time of year. However in Italy they do it daily, be it in small hamlets, villages, towns and even houses holds alone on hill side they all stop and celebrate the weekly harvest delights. Anything from the humble chickpea, to the prized white truffle with everything in between be it soft basil or hazelnuts. Just about every little herb, fruit, vegetable, is held up and has place in everyone’s garden, and the plate playing an important role of nutriment and well-being giving balance to the harvest. Just like a mother with her family.
So tomorrow I wait in the morning dark for the first glimpse of the sun rising above the cliff tops and from behind the island nestled in the Solent. I will count my lucky stars and feel at one with nature and the world. It’s harvest time, a time of crazy busyness for me. Its not just a moment, I will celebrate on a day basis, the different fruit and vegetables coming into season and being ready as if by magic all at once!
The long days have suddenly becoming shorter, as if nature is telling me to preserve, pickle and gather in all the bounty. However my days are not shorter, they are long in hours if not daylight so I can fill my shelfs with jars of all sizes and shapes. I just love it.
A lot has happen in 8 years, it’s been jammy! I wanted to share with you when it really started, and it was in 1862! Yes 1862, someone in my family had the vision of writing down a jam recipe and fortunately it was passed on, and reached me via an original copy of Mrs Beeton cook book, my mum’s treasured air loom , something she treasured and loving looked after, with its battered pages. I loaned this book after the death of my mother just a few years ago. In it was this recipe with other’s from that time. I was overwhelmed and totally tearful and elated all at the same time. I found wedding flowers pressed and other memories, alongside cutout and hand written recipes saved for cooking inspiration, that had been stored gently and carefully between the pages, of this cook book. So I may have been cooking jam as a “job” for 8 years but in reality it’s in my DNA and I’ve been cooking since at least 1862! It’s what I’m meant to do so tonight without fear I shall raise a glass to my ancestors, but more importantly to my teacher and inspirational mother, alongside my sister. In this my 1862 year!
Finally I would like to dedicate this next year, and the secret new jam to Stuart Bailey 4th April 1949- 21st February 2019, a friend and a good man.
Something is troubling me, for about a week or two, that set me on this path and I wanted to share it with you. My friend asked me what’s your favourite meal your mum cooked for you, that special dish if you could have it now what would it be?
An innocent question that stopped me in my tracks. My mind wonders and I am cross I can’t think.
I reconnect with the question for over two weeks, I can’t think, I wonder through the memories of dinner parties, the chocolate eclairs at the winter wonderland party , the apple pies with cinnamon pasty and slices of quince.
Am I going mad? I could cry as I don’t have a favourite, I have failed I can’t think of a single dish. I conclude that as her cooking was so legendary it must be that, that’s stopping me choose.
There must be that one? like to love of your life, you just know. But I don’t and I feel I have failed my mum, by not having a favourite. I’ve become obsessed with it, I wake up and wonder what it would be if I could sit down now and eat her cooking. I almost settle with the battered oysters, then the nettle soup, I finally finish on the treacle pudding, but NO there’s more!
Its only when I reach the quince tart that I stop dead in my tracks I travel through time and I’m in the kitchen, my mums smile fills the room my dad’s cheeky funny self is entertaining her, she slightly flushed from the warmth of the aga, and the air is filled with the smell of roasted pheasant, I can almost taste the potatoes as their slightly earthy aroma steams from the pan as they cook. A large green cabbage is on the side waiting to be chopped and added to the pan. The plates are added to the bottom oven and I catch the smell of a quince tart as the door closes.
The kitchen is starting to fill up with pans some on the heat some push aside I beg for nutmeg butter, to go with my cabbage and watch as she turns the squash in the roasting tray, as they jostle for space with the carrots. I feel the warmth of the room as it fills my soul with such joy. YES I’ve remembered it’s! My Favourite dish, I want to go home, right now, I want to go to Barland Cottage and lay the table, put out the serving dishes, stoke the fire and sit expecting while my mum brings the table to life. My dad makes a joke, and my mum’s laughter fills the air we giggle, after all, he’s funny. I can safely say I’ve remembered the dish its Roast Pheasant that’s my all-time favourite and something I’ve not been able to cook since my mum died. I miss my mums cooking, I miss roast pheasant.