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