Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Having got up at 3am to herald in a new American President and enjoy the site of the old one vacate the scene, it seemed a good time to celebrate with pancakes and a spot of jam-making!
I have to confess I did go back to bed after making sure that Bush was safely deposited in the helicopter and bid farewell, but upon rising I felt an enthusiasm for all things, that not only Americans start on a fresh page today, but we all do. It will be great to see if he can deliver what he promises, and even if only half of his rhetoric is achievable, then that may be a good thing for the world.

Anyway, I digress....back to Jam making. This is something i haven't attempted for 20 years! Apparently I made my first and only jam attempt (a strawberry kind) in my uni days. It was actually Steve, that reminded me, as I had completely forgotten this brief episode of domesticity, but he tells me the jam was good. Hes such a nice man: I'm sure he'd tell me this even if it was lousy :) I now remember constant calls to my mum, asking such things as 'how will I know when its set?' and 'what do i do if its still runny when...' So, yes, I was on the phone to mum having consulted multiple on-line recipes, which only served to confuse me.

Mum's Jam advice:
  • use equal parts sugar and fruit (I didn't actually, I had half as much sugar as fruit)

  • don't toss in the apricot pips as they have (very low) traces of arsenic in them

  • do throw in a couple of halved lemons to add flavour

  • use low heat and keep stirring, as it burns easily

  • a finely chopped apple will assist in helping set the jam (it apparently contains pectin)

  • you know when its set when a teaspoon of hot jam forms a skin when placed on a cold saucer in the fridge for a few minutes

  • boil the jars to sterilise them and make sure they are completely dry (you can dry them in the oven) before tipping in the jam.
The result is rather lemony...and YES it did set!!!!

Oh, and thanks go to Kerrie from Queensland for her inspring jam making post. And also to my friend Mary for the apricots.


  1. Hey Jen...

    Bravo...well done. I bet you are eagerly awaiting breakfast tomorrow, I know I was last weekend when I made jam.

    Great Photo too...!!!


  2. They do look a particularly "dawn of a new age" glowy colour! Congratulations! (and to President Obama too!..)

    In regards to sterilizing, being the hygiene freak that I seem to have become, "Soap Naturally" our soap and homemade cosmetics bible recommends boiling glass containers for 30 minutes in plenty of water, drain (tongs work OK) and then the second stage is to dry in the oven for 15-25 minutes. Takes a while, but I guess you know for sure that no bugs are going to grow in your homemade jam or lip balm! (I'm sure yours were fine...I just thought I'd add it for anyone wanting to make homemade products and perhaps sell them with confidence... :)