For many reasons, I've been less eager to make preserves recently. I could name a few: My cupboards were already full, if I made new ones, I would want to start on those, and the older ones linger, I've had other things to do, places to go, etc.
When I had a look up at the pictures loaded up by my family, I loved this one of my grand daughter playing at making jam in the garden....it put me to shame! But I also had this proud feeling that grand daughter was taking after her Mum, and me too! I must not forget my son, I remember him picking several pounds of blackcurrants and redcurrants for jam and jelly making when he was less than 10 years old. I had not even asked him, but I suspect it was a ruse to stay up late, maybe he has different memories of this.
I planned on making piccalilli, but felt the cauliflowers at the market were not quite up to my standard, but as my dearly beloved was begging for strawberry jam, and the berries looked bright and fresh and not over ripe, that made up my mind. I also decided to get some of Tate & Lyle's preserving sugar with added apple pectic. Last time we had strawberry jam at breakfast, and my dear friend Vicki was witness to this, my dearly beloved said that he felt the last lot of jam was NOT quite set enough for him. Forget the soft set, the compote, the whole fruit, for him...However the customer is always right, and he is the one who eats this jam, and not I.
I followed the recipe on the packet of sugar, but added more fruit, around 10% more! It has worked very well, the jam is bright and fresh tasting, and nicely set. I had nearly decided to give up making strawberry jam, but when I read the contents on the shop bought jars, I decided to try again, and now I feel confident to make even more....but there was still all the mess and the washing up...very worth while. I'll probably make some brioches Sunday morning breakfast to go with this.