Here in Edinburgh (well, on the outskirts), it's been a pretty rubbishy Summer.
Wettest June on record, cold and dreich in July, and August isn't looking a lot better, thus far.
So I'm not expecting much in the way of forage-able fruit, and I seized five boxes of reduced price cherries in the supermarket on Tuesday like a woman possessed.
I've never made cherry jam, but it's one of my favourites, so I repurposed the olive stoning part of my garlic crusher and set about pitting more than a kilo of Spanish Picota cherries.
Into the saucepan they went with sugar and a healthy dollop of Certo liquid pectin, and I brought the gloriously red combination to the boil.
And I tested.
And I boiled.
And I tested.
And I boiled some more.
I put it all into jars, and the next morning I lifted one of them up the the light - and it slopped about.
So I tipped the whole sticky mess back into the pan and I boiled it again.
There must be some trick about cherry jam, but it escapes me. I now have three jars of VERY sweet cherries in slightly less sloppy jam (ish) juice. I reckon that another twenty minutes would have turned them into glacé fruit.
However, none of this matters, because Gavin approves (he has a sweet tooth) and he has been discovered eating it with a teaspoon.
On Sunday morning, I went and investigated the wild raspberry situation and it was just as dire as I have been anticipating. Nothing daunted, I came home with 75g in a little bag (about enough to fit into a small yogurt pot).
A slosh of lemon juice
And boil for five minutes (nothing LIKE the hour or more I had to do for the cherries).
Less than an hour after being picked, we had a (very small) pot of raspberry jam.
Total food miles = about 500 metres.
There are more raspberries in the woods where we walk Boris, so I'm going out tonight equipped a couple of freezer bags.
I'll report back.
Any jam-making wisdom will be gratefully received, so please tell me your secrets.
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