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Archive for July, 2010

Today I picked our redcurrant crop. In year one of planting, I got nothing. In year two, I got nothing (the birds got a good laugh). This year, I got the lot. Call me sentimental, but I’m going to make jam.

Yes, OK, I got an ounce. Why do you ask? And yes, I made jam with them. And a few other fruits thrown in to eek them out.

About a pound and a half of their cousins (red from the farmers’ market; black, from Waitrose), left to macerate in sugar for an hour or so,

while I prepared the gooseberries from the farmers’ market:

These went into the big le Creuset pan, with a little water and simmered gently while I warmed the sugar and the sterilized jam jars in a low oven.

After a few minutes, I added the warmed sugar, and the currants (with their sugar), and the juice of a lemon.

This little lot spent about ten minutes at a rolling boil, changing color beguilingly over that time (I was far too absorbed by the process to photograph it), and then, being tested on a saucer (the Beloved, looking foxed: “why are you putting saucers in the fridge?” You’d think he’d have learned not to ask silly questions over the years, but apparently, no) was found to be set. Ladled into clean, warm jam pots. Turned upside down for a few minutes, and then turned back upright, wiped with a cloth and restored to full respectability.

Look:

Jam. By mine own hand, and from mine own crop. (With a little help from my friendly local farmers.)

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Actually, not just spinning, but also knitting, dyeing, glassworking, messing with silver, printmaking… I’ve been fairly busy, with some pretty mixed results. As I finally clear a few things off my plate, I’ll try to pluck up the courage to show some of the good, the bad, and even the plain old ugly in the days to come. Meanwhile, yesterday I discovered that a large piece of high-quality cartridge paper cunningly laid over my open laptop makes quite a decent photo backdrop:

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