I had grand plans today.
I was going to turn this…
into lovely, glorious, home made strawberry jam, but the Goddess of Jam (I am sure there is such a woman and I am sure she has PMS right now) had other ideas. I should have known better really, my last attempt at jam ended in diaster and this one was no different.
The 1.5 kgs of our precious home grown strawberries, the ones the small boy hasn’t eaten were lovingly picked, hulled and popped in the pot carefully following the recipe from my new book A Year in a Bottle (thanks Mum) and some wonderful instructions from You’ll Eat it and Like it. All was going so well until it came time to figure out when it was ready. I kept testing and looking and wondering…Then Muski woke up so I got him out of the hammock wandered back into the kitchen – not two minutes had gone by – and the jam went from not ready to burnt.
1.5 kgs of our precious strawberries…. burnt!
The Twinadoes, sensing the dark cloud that had arrived in the kitchen, came in for a taste and assured me that it was great, but I think they were just being nice. The Baldy Boy suggested we label the four jars I managed to salvage ‘Smoky Mountain Strawberry Jam’ but I didn’t appreciate his humour. I raged and clanged and bashed my way around the kitchen cleaning up the mess and lamenting the loss of our delicious strawberries. I don’t even like jam (the rest of the pickle farm residents do though)… I would have happily eaten the whole 1.5 kgs straight from the garden… what a waste.
I’m trying hard to find something good to have come from this disaster… so here are a few things I have learnt from today’s events…
- Throwing in the lemon halves as suggested by the Divine Miss C is awesome. That was the only delicious thing to come out of our pot and the girls were in heaven!
- I need a thermometer to test for temperature and therefore readiness and forgo all the guessing on the saucer stuff.
- Jam will burn and burn big time if it gets too hot, next time I need to make it boil nicely but not incinerate the crap out of it.
- It’s really really really bad when you burn sugar black in the bottom of your only decent pot. I’ve googled for ways to fix it and in the process of trying the first idea, I will report back on my success of failure on that front.
This afternoon I vowed I would never bother with jam ever again… but a few hours of pot scrubbing has made me think I might try again. Maybe I will learn my lessons from today and attempt to win the jam wars again sometime in the future…. or I might not.