After a brief spurt of gardening yesterday, where I picked loads of Stuff from The Garden, today I have made jam.
I approached it with my usual “recipes are for the timid” attitude, and once the concept was born, referred only briefly to Leith & Waldegrave’s rhubarb and blackcurrant jam recipe for quantity guidelines. So here’s my method.
Take a picture of the rhubarb, along with everything else you picked at the same time. Please note, for the 3rd year running I planted no potatoes. It’s SO HARD to grow potatoes in our garden… not.
Have a vague recollection of Rhubarb & Ginger Jam you were fed for breakfast by a cranky (but lovely) elderly Glaswegian (in entirely legitimate circumstances, I haste to add) around 1991/92, and remembering it was lovely. And thinking you now have more rhubarb than you can shake a stick at.
Start chopping rhubarb into pieces that in retrospect you think may be too big for jam, especially if you want it to be vaguely spreadable.
Realise that you’ve run out of time for making jam before your parents come round for tea.
Finish chopping the rhubarb and put it in the fridge in an old ice cream carton overnight.
Go to bed, get up, take kids to childminder, go to work, pick up kids, come home, do laundry, make kid’s tea, be reminded by diary that you intended to make jam this evening.
Peel & chop 3 rooty bits of fresh ginger.
Lob 2lb rhubarb, ginger bits, 3/4 1kg bag of granulated sugar and 1/4 pint of water into your husband’s beermaking pan, and heat it up.
Check on the laundry, rub Joel’s head better, break up a fight and put away some of yesterday’s laundry, returning occasionally to stir the mixture and make sure it doesn’t stick.
Watch a puppet show, ignoring complaints that Dragon & Wizard aren’t available because of having to be washed after milk was spilt on them at breakfast.
Hang out the washing. Heat up jars that have previously been washed in the dishwasher so that they don’t explode when the jam’s put in them.
Check if the jam is at setting point by blobbing some onto 2 cold saucers. If you have more children, you will probably need more saucers.
Switch off the heat under the jam and leave it fo 5 minutes. You’ll want to put the timer on so that it doesn’t accidentally set in the pan.
Ladle jam into jars. Put the lids on. Take a photo of them.
And if you have proper techno-joy who needs a recipe – why are you still reading??!?