Does any one else enjoy making jam, or is it just me? Luscious Omega plums were on offer last week from the grower when we visited Greytown. It was the last weekend they were on sale, so I am really pleased we were there at just the right time.
My trusty preserving pan was tucked right in the back of the kitchen cupboards, and to reach it I had to take out piles of crockery. Then of course put everything back again once I had finally retrieved it. The first step was to halve those juicy plums, and remove the stones. I slipped on a pair of disposable gloves for this messy job and soon had plum juice all over them. (Perhaps I was someone rich and important in a former life, as I really hate getting my hands dirty.) 6 pounds of plums went into the pan, with a little water, to slowly cook and pulp down.
The next step was to sterilize the jam jars. With that taken care of, I checked the plums to see if they were pulpy enough. Then the heat was turned up to a rolling boil, and the sugar added. Cook for 15 minutes, said the recipe, then test. This is always the bit of jam making I find difficult, if the first little bit of jam doesn’t form a skin, what are you meant to do? I just cook it a bit longer, and sometimes even add a little more sugar, then test again. When I judged it “just right”, I ladled the hot jam into the jars, (overflow method) and screwed the lids on tight.
The kitchen smelt lovely and homely with the sweet smell of bubbling plums. I love home made jam, and enjoy making it occasionally. The time and effort spent in the kitchen is rewarded with all those jars full of beautiful deep rich red goodness. Home made is certainly best, as far as jam is concerned, I always think. There were enough plums left to cook up a bowl for the evening’s dessert – served with whipped cream, they were delicious!