Lately things have been a little bit weird and all I’ve wanted to do is go back to the past. My sister just turned 14 and now I’m longing to be able to go back to the simpler days where my mum cooked me pasta while I watched Disney Channel and I shouted at my sister to get out of the way of the TV as she bounced about aged seven.
Now everyone is so much older I’m really reminiscing on how life used to be and how much we have all grown up and changed. I remember how everything used to seem so difficult when we were teenagers when really it was the easiest thing in the world. People always said to me that I would miss being a teenager/student and that I wouldn’t know what I had until it was gone and they were so right!
The only good thing about being an adult is that along with all the boring stuff and responsibility, you get to do whatever you want. While I was feeling a bit down and bored this morning I was looking in the fridge and took out the jar of jam that Jonny had made a few of weeks ago and given to me. Knowing that no-one was going to be looking I ate some of it with a spoon. Because I’m allowed. I can do what I want and no-one can stop me. What a thrill, eating jam right out of the jar.
Jonny made this jam from scratch by picking his own fruit and cooking the jam on the stove, admirable because even though I love cooking I don’t think I would have the patience or skill to make jam. The thing I love about homemade jam is it’s so simple and wholesome and delicious. I especially love rhubarb so this particular jar of jam holds a special place in my heart.
This is how you can make it:
Strawberry and rhubarb jam
- 0.9kg whole strawberries
- 0.9kg rhubarb
- 1.84kg jam sugar
- knob of butter
Wash, drain and hull the fruit and put it into a non-metallic bowl. Sprinkle over the sugar and some lemon juice and mix gently. Cover this with a tea towel and leave it over night.
Put a saucer in the freezer. Tip the fruit and juice into a large, heavy based pan. Heat it gently while stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Don’t boil until all the sugar has dissolved completely.
Boil the stuff in the pan for exactly 4 minutes. Spoon a little bit of jam onto your frozen saucer. After a couple of minutes, push your finger through the jam and if the surface wrinkles, it is ready. If not, keep testing every 2 minutes until it is done.
Take off the heat and swirl in the butter. If scum doesn’t dissolve, skim with a slotted spoon. Then cool the jam mixture for 10-15 minutes.
Pour the mixture into warm, sterilised jars. Put waxed disks on top of the jams straight away and seal with a lid. You can then keep the jam for 6 months in a cool, dry cupboard or in the fridge once opened.