Posts Tagged ‘living in the country’

I am not a domestic goodness. In fact, I don’t even feel like an adult. I feel like a big kid who’s playing house and even has a baby doll to dress up. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) my sheer tiredness and aches and pains prove to me every day that this is real life and not a game. Some things still feel like a game though. Probably because they are new and interesting, such a far cry from life in the city.

We have lots of fruit trees in the garden; red & orange raspberries, cherries, loganberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, apples, 4 different types of grapes, peaches, wild strawberries, walnuts (or brain nuts as Mr Piglet calls them) and mures (which I don’t know what this is in English and Google translate hasn’t been very helpful). Some of our French family pointed out that we had so much fruit we should make jam. We’d never made jam before.

Fruit picking in the Piglet garden (which is rather overgrown!)

As a fan of kitchen gadgets and always on the look out for ways to save time, I’d already spotted that my bread machine could make jam as well, so there would be no standing slaving over a pot for me. I made the most of having guests and quickly managed to organize a competition to get the fruit picking done. Perfect after dinner exercise with ice creams as the prize!

Mr Piglet and I spent the rest of the evening washing & weighing fruit and sterilizing jam jars. We ended up with 2 jars of loganberry, 4 of raspberry, 5 of blackcurrant and 4 of redcurrant. Proud of our accomplishments I quickly sent an email off to my parents bragging of our new domestic goddess status.

Next morning, my Mum had replied asking how we had set the jam. “Set the Jam?” I had no idea!

I quickly ran downstairs (it was 5am in the morning) and looked at a jar of blackburrant jam. It wasn’t jam, it was coulis – it hadn’t set!

Gah! What a nightmare, “what had we done wrong” I wondered? Why didn’t they mention this setting business in the jam recipe in the bread machine book? So much for saving time with shortcuts.

Thankfully most of the other fruits had set which was lucky, so when Mr Piglet woke up we started the process again and thanks to some Twitter research, we reboiled the jam with more lemon juice and this time round tested for setting point. It worked!

So we now have our own jam enterprise with plenty more fruit on the trees but no more jam jars. I now have a valid reason to hoard jam jars.

We have jam!!

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