Posts Tagged ‘jam’

8 years? or 1862 years of jam!

Jam found !

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.

Foraged & Grown

The first cut of walled garden flowers

Over the last 3 months I have undertook to restore a walled garden. A garden I found lost derelict and unloved, its a garden that Lewis Carol used in the Book Alice in Wonderland. The first book I read. Also not sure if I have told you but my mum was a brilliant chef and my dad a gardener. So this was a project calling out for me, so without a second thought I took on the challenge to restore and loving bring back this beauty. So I have drafted in the help of a few lovely friends and together our project will and has already, produced some home grown produce, organically and biodynamic for naked jam preserves, local hotels, discerning chefs, and other outlets such as Love to b who use all natural products in their wonderful skin care ranges.  The garden will also become a venue in its own right. Although a while off from being perfect, we have already booked a number of events.  Alongside the edible plants, we are growing cut flowers for wedding parties and empty vases!

One of the plans for the garden is to link it with a charity project “A cook in your Kitchen” which myself and a few friends set up last year. Brief details listed below.

To help people provide healthy home cooked meals for their families

To help people reduce their weekly food shopping bills

To help households reduce their household food waste.

The project will initially be run as a pilot and fully evaluated to test the viability of setting up a self- supporting social enterprise.To train a team of home cooks to go into customers homes and help families develop their cooking, budgeting and recycling skills .To record via a questionnaire survey the customers cooking , budgeting and recycling skills prior to the visit and after the home training session.

If you would like us to grow anything for you or your like to visit our walled garden please get in touch, I love to show you around and inspire you to grow too.  Or indeed help with our charity project please get in touch. Jen X 

Stop the morning and grab the toast!

Great Taste great jam !

Blackcurrant Extra Jam a winner , so is the Strawberry. So in 2013 I entered the great taste I won 2 * for my Lemon curd, 1* for my raspberry and in 2016 I entered again with strawberry syrup and yep it is a winner with 2 * so just when I thought I missed the enter deadline. I managed to squeeze in with 2 of my best selling products strawberry Jam and of course Blackcurrant, into 2017 awards. and……..this is what the judges said….

Strawberry jam achieved a star  the judges comments on this 
 
“Wonderful fresh summer strawberries on the nose, the set is perfect. The judges really liked the whole strawberries that still had a delightful texture and a lasting, fragrant strawberry flavour. Skillfully made”
 
and my Blackcurrant extra jam achieving 3 stars. I am feeling very proud of this achievement and I would like to thank you for the support, judges comments. 

“Beautiful deep blackcurrant flavours on the nose, a thick set, giving a deep, lasting flavour, not overly sweet, allowing the true fruit flavour to shine through. The judges loved the sheer intensity of fresh blackcurrant flavours, the quality of the fruit and gentle preservation.”

So if you fancy learning my secrets of great jam making come along to my cooking lessons at :

http://www.chewtonglen.com/the-kitchen/courses-pricing/exploring/spotted-potted-pickled/

Stop the morning and grab the toast!

Great Taste great jam !

Blackcurrant Extra Jam a winner , so so is the Strawberry. So in 2013 I entered the great taste I won 2 * for my Lemon curd, 1* for my raspberry and in 2016 I entered again with strawberry syrup and yep it is a winner with 2 * so just when I thought I missed the enter deadline. I managed to squeeze in with 2 of my best selling products strawberry Jam and of course Blackcurrant, into 2017 awards. and……..this is what the judges said….

Strawberry jam achieved a star  the judges comments on this 
 
“Wonderful fresh summer strawberries on the nose, the set is perfect. The judges really liked the whole strawberries that still had a delightful texture and a lasting, fragrant strawberry flavour. Skillfully made”
 
and my Blackcurrant extra jam achieving 3 stars. I am feeling very proud of this achievement and I would like to thank you for the support, judges comments. 

“Beautiful deep blackcurrant flavours on the nose, a thick set, giving a deep, lasting flavour, not overly sweet, allowing the true fruit flavour to shine through. The judges loved the sheer intensity of fresh blackcurrant flavours, the quality of the fruit and gentle preservation.”

So if you fancy learning my secrets of great jam making come along to my cooking lessons at :

http://www.chewtonglen.com/the-kitchen/courses-pricing/exploring/spotted-potted-pickled/

Inspired by Tweets!

Blackthorn flowers make Gin! 

The Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa ) is found in many hedgerows and across the countryside but most importantly  in the many hedgerows  on the Chewton Glen Estate and recently Estate Manger Darren Venables tweeted a wonderful picture capturing the moment of this years flowering. It was beautiful. My mind heart skipped a beat. Its such an exciting time when nature starts to let you in to her little secrets and plans. And so the Blackthorn moments of glory is upon us before even his leaves appear giving this shrub a little glamour  in the bare hedgerows. A perfectly formed elegant flower as white and as soft as a cloud on  a beautiful blue day. 

 

 

The flower is so delicate its almost a shame to pick the beauty from the bush. But crystallised they are perfect for cake decorations or simply served in a light salad. 

When the leaves arrive they too can used, to be infused for making a tea. However most people tend to pick from this wonderful gift of nature when the year is almost over and the frost have given these particular berries a little coating to ensure they are perfect for your making your gin. Yes its the sloe bush, that many people can and do use in lots of recipes.  However most people I know only ever make gin from them. (and why not).  Yet they make a wonderful inclusion to a hedgerow jelly and a fantastic addition to an ice cream especially if they have been used to make gin first!

But before all of those recipes try this one. They would  look great on a chocolate cake. Simple, perfect elegant. 

An easy Recipe for crystallising flowers:

Ingredients Edible Flowers

  • An egg white that has been stired with a folk but not beaten.
  • Caster sugar 
  • Equipment a model paint brush ( the type yo get with an air-fix model)
  • If you have picked the flowers yourself be sure to check for little flies bugs etc.
  • Dip your paint brush n the egg white and carry fully paint the petals.
  • Dust with the caster sugar and leave to dry on parchment  paper for a few hours.
  • Keeps for about a week. 

 

 

 

 

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Jen

Jennifer Williams

Chief Jam Maker

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