Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Spread a Little Joy

This might seem like a strange thing for a self-confessed foodie to admit , but one of my favourite things to eat is jam on toast. Now, I have to add that this is no ordinary jam on toast, but rather my own home-made preserves on granary bread from my local family bakery. Just thinking about it makes me mouth water.

I usually make most of my preserves during the summer months when I have access to the glut of berries and soft fruits. Jars of strawberry jam, sour-cherry jelly and peach conserve, to name but a few, adorn the selves in my store cupboard. However, this morning I discovered that my stocks were starting to run low, and I immediately had to do something about it. Looking around my kitchen, I saw the basket of green apples that I had bought over the weekend and I knew that I wanted to make my favourite blackberry and apple jam. Certain that I won't find any plump, juicy berries in any of the fresh produce markets at this time of the year, I headed to my local Thornton's Budgens. This store is a little gem on our high street as it stocks lots of local products, foodie ingredients and organic produce. They also sell bags of frozen summer berries, with no added anything, which were just perfect for my jamming needs.

With my purchases in hand, I headed home to start the peeling, coring and slicing of the apples, washing and defrosting of the berries and weighing out of the sugar. The dark purple juice that cooks out of these beautiful berries quickly filled the whole flat with it's amazing fragrance, and it wasn't long before I could spoon the sticky jam into the warm sterilized jars. After all my hard work, I thought it only fair that I treat myself to a slice or two of toast with some warm jam spread all over it. Pure Joy!

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