Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer in a jar

Having heard Ghillie James on Woman's Hour recently, I couldn't wait to buy her book, Jam, Jelly and Relish. It is full of simple to follow instructions and fuss-free recipes.

I went to the pannier market in Barnstaple early yesterday morning to stock up on strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, cherries and apricots and spent a great day in the kitchen. I just had to try Muddled Berry Jam with a colourful mixture of strawberries, raspberries and blackcurrants
Then I prepared the apricots which looked so wonderfully golden and luscious that I had to force myself to tip them into the preserving pan
Then I used the rest of the strawberries and raspberries with the cherries to make  Cherry Berry Jam, which Ghillie James describes as the tastiest of all the jams in her book. By teatime I had a box full of glistening jars to store until winter, when some will be given pretty tops and labels to give as presents and the rest will bring a bit of summer to our tea table.
Alongside the recipes for the preserves there are lots of ideas for making use of them. The book is full of lovely photographs of irresistible dishes, so one jar of Muddled Berry Jam has been set aside to make ice cream for granddaughter Charlotte's first birthday party next month.
from Page 64
The preserving mood was upon me and I spent the afternoon bunching lavender and drying bay leaves, all of which will eventually be made into more gifts.
It was a very satisfying way to spend a wet and windy summer's day.


  1. Listening to the weather forecast this morning and hearing how bleak it was set to be in the south west, I thought of you and felt sorry that you were going to have a bad day. Clearly my forecast was not so accurate as the weather man's. Congratulations on a most fruitful day!

  2. What a splended way to spend the day. I love jams! I so wish fresh black currants were availible here, but I've never seen them.

  3. Crinny
    We have had a great deal of rain for several days but I have been making good use of the enforced time indoors, as you can see.

  4. Jodi
    I really love blackcurrants and am sorry that you can't find any. I wonder if I could send you some blackcurrant jam or jelly - I'm sure I have seen some in cans rather than glass jars. I'll let you know.

  5. You've been really busy!
    those berries look lovely That sounds like a fun book :0)

    we've been on the annual fishing trip and are now completely tired out! got to rest up and then charge off for another Kayak journey before school starts again

  6. Val, it is a lovely book with beautiful photographs of mouthwatering fruits and desserts.

    Have fun on the kayak holiday before your long winter sets in.

  7. Well-done! You are an inspiration! We seem to be on the same page as I have been canning up summer also. Love your post/blog.
    Thanks for the peek!
    Joanne, who also adores fresh herbs and especially lavender!

  8. Hi Joanne, thank you for visiting. I have just been over to your blog and can see that we do indeed share many interests. I will be trying your zucchini (or courgette, as we call it) bread recipe later today.

  9. I can hardly wait for Christmas now! I have also been busy collecting the cherries from the garden and making jam. Do you want to do a swap?

  10. Adelephant - don't wish time away! Yes, I'd love to swap some preserves. I've made some chutney and some onion marmalade as well as four kinds of jam.

  11. Lovely! But the weather has been far to warm and fine here to even think about boiling fruit, let alone actually do it!


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