With Jam On

The smell from my kitchen is absolutely wonderful

I had been doing recognisance of the hedgerows over the past weeks looking for the best Brambles to make homemade jelly; the summer had been very dry so not the best start but we have had rain over the past few days so looking better.

Sunday was overcast but very quiet weatherises so I strapped a bucket to the back of my bicycle and cycled off for Strathkinness. Oh no, help ma Boab, trampled grass the locals have been here before me, so it was off to a new location.  

Now when you pass on a bicycle scanning the hedgerows there seems to be an abundance of Brambles, when you get close up you find that not too many are full fruit, (they have not set properly, lack of insects, bloody farmers and their insecticides). Tying the luggie to my belt I set out to pick berries, it took me two hours to pick this much. Not only did I pick berries but I also picked up small thorns, and nettle stings, ho-hum.

Today (Monday) I went up to the big Morison’s for preserved sugar, lemon juice and a cooking apple,

let’s get cooking. I remember mum putting a cooking apple in her jelly, she said it was to help it set, so better to be safe than sorry.

My biggest pot was not heavy-bottomed or a jam-making pan, but beggars can’t be choosers, you made do with what you have. Not only was it not a jam-making pan but it was not really big enough for all the fruit, so boiled over, oh well I’m sure the messy cooker top will clean up.

Drip, drip overnight, now some will tell you that next morning you squeeze the bag to get the last of the juice out, mum said, never squeeze the bag it makes the finished jelly cloudy, and as we all know, mum knows best. 

After all that I ended up with half a litre of fruit juice so 375G of sugar all back in the pot, to simmer away for a while.

And at the end of all that the berries have been reduced to two small jars of Bramble Jelly. It’s gid tell yir ma’

Stay Safe

2 thoughts on “With Jam On

  1. Stories about jam making bring back memories!
    My mum strained overnight through muslin and had a sorta metal apparatus for hanging the muslin filter over a basin. Kitchen was closed to us kids while the process was underway.
    Late summer/autumn, with dad’s help, she used to make enough jams and marmalades to get the family through the winter. She bought the fruits as foraging was not in her way of life!
    Neither of her 2 sisters or 3 sisters-in-law (my aunts) indulged in her “hobby” but were happy to accept jars of home-made jam and marmalade, the “with whiskey” type was a great favourite with the uncles!

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    1. Yes, I know, making Bramble jelly yesterday took me back 70 years to a time as a small boy, I would help mum in the kitchen, or kneel on a chair at the stove, and fascinated with the way the liquid in the jelly pan would move, in a rolling boil, like a double wave of volcanic lava. Every year the Co-op would sell Marmalade oranges and mum would be there making marmalade and I would help (possibly hold her back rather than help) by cutting the peel into small pieces. When I count the cost – what we’ve gained and, what we’ve lost – I can not help thinken we have all been taken for a ride.

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