Monday, 17 July 2017

raspberry bonanza



I have been thoroughly enjoying the slow pace of a childfree house. An added bonus is the unexpected day off work. It is Glasgow Fair Monday, a traditional holiday in the city, which the University observes. Hurray for another whole day of indulging myself in activities I love!

Yesterday, Jack and I went for a long walk up at the local woods. I took three tupperware tubs with me to fill with wild raspberries. They are so abundant at the moment that I have been tempted to take a bottle of squirty cream along on my walk and eat the berries there and then. Then I thought about all the other walkers and did not.

Jack is a funny wee dog. He loves his walks but he doesn't like hanging around and finds foraging really boring. He'd be waiting near me giving me encouraging glances to move on. I in turn encourage him to go and explore the underbelly of the woods. There must be so much to sniff out for a dog. Alas, Jack just stands and waits.

I did manage to fill the three tubs with juicy, tasty but not very pretty raspberries. They don't look like the jewel like fruit you find in a punnet of shop bought raspberries, or even like the ones you may grow in your garden. Whilst they may not be perfect for crowning a Pavlova, they are ideal for jam.

I made six jars of gorgeous raspberry jam. I tried it it when I tested for set. Unfortunately, there was exactly the right amount of jam to fill six jars and there are currently two open jars of other jams in the fridge so I have to wait. Also, I am on a self imposed bread diet. Not because I have developed a penchant for food fads but because it is the one food item that cuts my calorie intake by a third - if I don't eat it that is. I have lost my waist and I want to find it again, somewhere under the belly fat. I do look forward to making a batch of scones with the new jam when the kids and Richard are back. Mustn't loose the joy of life whilst rediscovering the waist.

One question I have for you: why do British/American jam recipes suggest to add a knob of butter to a pot of boiling jam? None of my Swiss cookery add it so it can't be essential but I'd be keen to find out why. It makes no difference to the jam in case you are wondering.

Off to iron fat quarters. I know, it is as punishing as it sounds! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. Also, I am extending a warm welcome to all new readers, it is good to see you here.

18 comments:

  1. Is there anything prettier than the color of fresh fruit jam in a jar? Looks yummy!

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    1. How wonderful to have your jars of homemade jam. I do have an answer to the knob of butter question, but no idea if it actually works! The idea is that it will somehow disperse any foam that you get on the top and I think that it is also supposed to help disperse any bubbles. Of course you will/may scoop off any foam that you get on the top as you are making the jam, but the knob of butter does the same apparently. No idea if it works, but that is the theory! Happy jam eating!

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  2. I've never heard of putting butter in while making jam, but then the only kind I ever make is peach jam.

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  3. Ciao, can you give me your raspberry jam recipe? I make the jam twice a week and I'd like to change something...I envy you having a childfree house:) B.

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  4. Shouldn't have read this post whilst slurping a mug of tea. Your comments about finding your waist had me chortling! Raspberries in the wild. I'm envious and you have made me want to make jam. Hurry up blackberries, get ripening. I'm in agreement with Amy about the butter. I never bother, just ladle off anything dodgy before bottling. Enjoy that jam:)

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  5. Ooh, raspberry jam is just the best, especially atop a scone. My dad once told me adding a small amount of butter does away with the need to skim the scum that forms on the top. Me, I just skim.

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  6. The butter is to reduce the foaming you get when the fruit boils. The foam is harmless, but it doesn't look as nice as non-foamy jam. I always add 1/2 teaspoon of butter when I make jam. It's easy and doesn't affect the taste, and it does seem to work. Your jam looks delicious. All the better because you picked those berries yourself! With Jack's help. :)

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  7. Wowsers, you must have picked loads to get that much jam - they are much smaller aren't they? Looks fab. We are currently trying to get down jam from 2015! Jo x

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  8. Bravo to you for picking those wild raspberries and making that wonderful jam! We make raspberry freezer jam which isn't cooked and it tastes so fresh and delicious. Enjoy your quiet days. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  9. Your jam looks lovely. My husband and I are supposed to be losing 5 lb each. Cue the scales, we've gained 2 lb! Not happy, now need to lose 7 lb.

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  10. I haven't read the other comments to see if anyone's already answered, but the butter is to prevent scum forming on the top as it boils (I don't usually bother with it). Your jam looks wonderful. Homemade raspberry is my absolute favourite. Our bushes have just started fruiting so I'm looking forward to making some soon. Enjoy your peace and quiet! Sam xx

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  11. Yes, something to do with scum I think, I never bother with it. I absolutely love raspberries, oh that taste, divine. Lucky you having wild raspberries around. I've never seen any. Six jars is an impressive haul, must have taken you ages to pick them. CJ xx

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  12. Raspberry jam is delicious. I had to reboil mine as it was so runny but now it's like concrete. Hope you soon rediscover your waist so you can eat bread again!

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  13. The homemade jam looks wonderful, Christina, and it's my favorite one with blueberry being a close second. Unlike yours, however, mine usually comes from a supermarket or occasionally a craft show. I'm with you on cutting out bread to cut out calories because we are doing the same here, but scones and raspberry jam sound delicious together.

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  14. Apparently it is supposed to get rid of the scum and foam that appears on the top of the jam. The jam looks delicious and perfect for scones. I too am in need of losing some weight particularly from the waist. Enjoy your me time without the children.

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  15. I never add butter when jamming either. It has been far too hot and dry for the summer raspberries here in the south east, so I'm looking forward to the autumn raspberries which usually start fruiting by the end of July. I'm eking out my last jar of raspberry jam - yours looks so good and six jars in one go is very impressive. It is sounding like you're enjoying a lovely summer Christina.

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  16. The jam looks delicious, and I'm very impressed that you foraged the berries for it. I made blackcurrant jam yesterday, and like you have two already opened jars of jam in the fridge. I have given myself a strict talking to, and am making myself wait to open a jar until one of the already open ones is finished.

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  17. I love raspberry jam. As many before have said the butter is supposed to disperse any scum but I don't find it that effective so mostly don't bother.

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