Ugh. Feeling decidedly under the weather today and very cotton wool-headed so fingers crossed this post actually makes sense.
Last night I did my first jam making demo for Rachel, purveyor of very fine toddler groups and long time friend of this blog. 'Jam making demo' sounds quite straight forward but in a couple of hours in mid-winter it's something of a challenge. There isn't any wild fruit available and, to be honest, jam making isn't that thrilling to watch. There are no visual pyrotechnics, merely a lady stirring a big pot for hours on end. Pickles are even more scintillating, there isn't even a lady to watch, just a pot of veg soaking in brine.
I overcame the fruit problem by making my famous (in this house) Aspall's Cyder Jelly. Being a certo based jam it's very quick to make so fitted into the time slot easily, though maybe a bit too quick as we finished earlier than I though. A moment of drama came when the Baby Belling I was cooking on stubbornly refused to get hot enough to boil the jelly and I had to relocate to the kitchen, thus removing the 'lady stirring a big pot' element
Nonetheless we all had a nice evening with good company and liberal quantities of wine, bread, cheese, pickled fruit and Lavender Jelly. I took along a couple of books I've made up from this blog (via Blurb.com) which went down well. A learning point for me was the amount of interest in using fruit preserves in cooking, eg meat glazes, chutney tagines etc so, if called upon to do this kind of thing again, I'd concentrate on that a bit more.
So thank you ladies of Mummy Imps, you were all very kind to me and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! (How about a foraging walk in the summer?!)