We’re jammin’

We went blackberrying yesterday.  I am elbow deep in scratches and it’s unlikely that Lily will ever be able to wear the outfit she went out in again.  But it was great to be out of the house tackling boughs and boughs of fat, sweet blackberries and listening to my girls doing their own improvised We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, over the fields and through the mud.  We caught sight of a blue jay too; I found that very exciting but there were bears to escape from.

We got a pretty good haul and it felt like a very nice, very British countryside activity to be getting stuck into on a Sunday afternoon.

I am blessed with a rather large haul of apples too after another great British tradition last week; the school Harvest Festival.  Even as a 41 year old adult I am unable to go into school and not feel like a child, therefore I felt it was necessary to change the words to some of the hymns to make my friend next to me laugh and get in trouble. I’m not proud of myself.

Quick! A bear!

So, what to do with the haul?

Jam of course.

Blackberry and Apple Jam

I adapted this recipe slightly from the Good Housekeeping book Preserves by Joanna Farrow.  It’s a very basic recipe that I’ve used lots of times, for different types of fruit.  No muslin or hanging upside down from a rafter involved. 
(Makes 1kg of jam) 
450g apples, peeled and diced – the ones I used were not cooking apples as the recipe states but little eating apples
450g blackberries (washed well)
600g sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
A knob of butter
  • To sterilise your jars wash them in hot soapy water, rinse well and leave to dry in a low oven
  • Place the apples in a large pan – I used a preserving pan and add 150ml water 
  • Cook gently for five minutes until the apples are soft
  • Add the blackberries and the lemon juice
  • Simmer for five minutes until the berries begin to break up a bit
  • Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves
  • Add the butter and bring to the boil.  Boil rapidly for around 15 minutes until there’s no excess water
  • Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes and then put in your prepared jars
For no other reason than I’ve been listening to The Kinks a lot this weekend and this is so very British and villagey.  For reasons I won’t go into right now I found myself at a village council meeting last week.  This song would not leave my head.  Even talk of problem dog fouling and a debate on wood chips wouldn’t shift it.  


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