Saturday, 16 August 2014

Jam making, its a seedy business.

                  What's been cooking in my kitchen. 

3 kg of Cumquats/Kumquats.

 What do you do when your given 3 kilo of tiny little Cumquats ?? why make jam of course.
Now I have never made Cumquat jam before, I have however made orange marmalade.....which was a hit n miss affair I have to admit.
 So being that I'm living in a small country town having formally been a coast dweller ( still miss it ) I thought I had better learn and learn fast how to master the art of jam making being that I am surrounded by some heavy weights from the CWA, "Country Women's Association". So off to the computer and my best bud Google to find a recipe that works. Armed with " the best recipe" according to Google and Google knows all don't ya know !! I head to the kitchen to make jam.....

1 kilo soaking over night ( day 3 )
 Three days later and with a sore back and numb fingers, I kid you not, it took me three days ( I made 3  x 1 kilo batches ) to cut those sour, teeny tiny little suckers into teeny tiny little pieces, soak over night then spend three days watching, hovering over and nurturing this concoction of sweet sticky, golden citrus delight, made to set your morning toast n tea into a taste sensation, a perfect start to a country morning, right ?....NOT !.
  Do you think I could get that bubbling brew to set ? not on your life, how long can one pot of jam boil before "setting point" is reached ?. I followed the recipe to the T, I kept all of the tiny slippery seeds, put them in a muslin bag, soaked, measured, weighed, simmered, added the sugar at the specified time, boiled, simmered, checked, and re checked the mix on a cold saucer, but still it did not set.
 After some thought and admitting defeat off I went to the local grocery store to purchase some " Jam setter " a  little packet of pectin made to help jam set, ( I call it a miracle in a packet ) clearly never used by the CWA because the recipe I used was a CWA recommended one and it did NOT say add 1/2 a packet of Jam setter.
Well I may not be worthy of a place in the CWA but I did get that sticky batch Cumquats to set thanks to the jam setter, shhhh don't tell the CWA.
It may not win a prize at our local show, I have a lot to learn before that will happen, but I have to admit it tastes beautiful !!  

Left plain Cumquat Right Cumquat & Honey.
Now I'm no quitter, just so you know, so when your given a bag of Grapefruit, what do you do ? why you make jam of course, but not just any old grapefruit jam, no, you make Grapefruit, lemon and Carrot jam, do you think I'm getting ahead of myself ?
Grapefruit, Carrots & Lemon soaking overnight.
But this time I am armed with a little helper,( sorry Google ) a handy little book I picked up at a local opp shop called " Preserving Made Easy " no jam setter mentioned in this little bible, put out by the Dept of Agriculture ( sorry CWA ) I have a good feeling about this little gem.
The Bible.....please.
I will of course keep you up to date on my next batch of sticky yumminess, I vow to master the art of Jam making and all its secrets and hidden mysteries !!
So until next time, keep a smile on ya dial and a sticky slathering of home made jam on your morning toast.
Big hugs
Me :-)