Apparently, making jam on a second-rate electric hob is entirely possible, though absolutely not advisable.

Not only will said hob short-circuit the house at least twice, but heat will deflect from the jam pan, burning the enamel surface below the ceramic hob plate. Also, the hob will fail to get the sugar up to temperature, leaving you with stewed fruit and sugar, rather than actual jam.

I am currently waiting for said mixture to cool to see what it tastes like finished.

Experimental Jam

All said and done though, until adding the sugar, I was pretty convinced I had stumbled on the perfect jam recipe. So, for your preserve-making pleasure, may I present a list of the fruits I used:

2 bunches of grapes – one red, one white
2 peaches
3 pears
2 apples
2 stems of rhubarb
a handful of cranberries
the juice from 3 lemons
the peel from 4 oranges (I have been freezing orange peel as I eat them for just such an occasion)
half a bottle of white wine
half a large bottle of ginger beer
a pinch of cinnamon
half a bag of sugar

The basic method is as follows: chop fruit and peel. Boil in liquids until pith on peel is transparent. Add sugar. Get sugar up to correct temperature (220F). Put in jars. Nom it all up.

This is what happens when I plan to go out in the garden – the weather inevitably turns and I am left to amuse myself around the house in other ways. At present, I would like to be winging my way to M-‘s pre-marriage-picnic, however obviously, the one time I hope my disclosure for work doesn’t come through, it lands on my doormat. The really annoying thing, is that there aren’t any shifts for me at present, leaving me to wait patiently by the phone in case I’m needed. Argh. Part of me wants to high-tail it north anyways, but I know that if I did, I’d be woken at daft o’clock in the morning to be told I had to be in Cambridge by half past stupid.

Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow and I’ll get out to plant some crops that should see us through autumn and next spring. I have some tomatoes, some kale, carrots, parsnips, swedes and savoy cabbages. Hopefully, I’ll do a better job with them than I did with my aubergine plants – currently a small crispy mess on the dining room window. I don’t know what I did wrong – the plants had green-fly and I distinctly remember Nan saying that you should just spritz washing up liquid and water over the leaves to kill off the bugs. Admittedly, the bugs are now dead but the plants have also shuffled off this mortal coil, leaving me with a little terracotta pot of autumn leaves…

Tonight’s mission: Clean up after S-‘s DIY in the living room, finish cleaning the kitchen, maybe start work on some top-secret sewing… who knows. Right now though, I need a gin and tonic.