In a jam

What do you do with 12lb of damsons from one little tree?

When faced with this huge crop (well, it was for me in central London) I decided to try to make jam, something that I’d been meaning to do for ages. I had always been frightened to try before as it all sounded a bit complicated, with lots of specialist equipment to use. It turned out that the only equipment that you really need is a big, stainless steel jam pan and a funnel. Well that’s all I had! A couple of hours later I was filling my jam jars with a wonderful smelling, vivid purple goo…and it tasted good, too!

Now hooked, I have started to invest in some of that specialist equipment – like DIY, if you have the right tools everything is a lot easier. I have now made raspberry jam, green tomato chutney, marmalade and even raspberry gin and damson vodka. The jars are going to make great Christmas presents!

The latest was a grape jelly, which you have to filter through a cloth overnight to get it clear. This has enabled me to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so the kids can see why Americans love them so much. And I have to tell you, my kids loved them too!

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