25 June 2020 – Jam

Today was too hot to make jam. But I did it anyway because that’s how I roll. So it was a bit of a tenuous twofer today. It’s George Orwell’s 117th birthday and tomorrow it’s National Cream Tea Day. As well as being depressingly prescient, Orwell was rather partial to writing about food (Down and Out in Paris and London is amazing). So I did some digging and found out he was also rather partial to a bit of marrow jam. Homemade jam on tomorrow’s homemade scones? While it might not be a traditional strawberry jam, if it was good enough for George, it was good enough for me. 

There are quite a few recipes for marrow jam on the internet but just to make things more complicated, I was looking for a reduced, or no sugar version due to the fact my backside can now be measured in acreage (thanks, Lockdown), which meant I ended up juggling a marrow version with a chia seed version. Plus I couldn’t find any marrow, so went with courgette. Or as I like to call it, mini-marrow. 

So I bunged two jam jars in the oven to sterilise and got on with preparing the ingredients. I don’t remember courgettes being so revoltingly slimy when pealed. Is this new? Either way, the courgettes didn’t lend themselves to a pleasant prep. But then I was gifted with a particularly juicy lemon, and clouting the ginger knob with a rolling pin brought a certain amount of zen to my very hot kitchen. 

After that everything boiled down nicely, if a little lop-sidedly as my apple chunks were slightly on the large side. Then when mushed, I added some honey and then the chia seeds to set it. And to be fair, it does have the constancy of jam, and the taste is lovely, although somehow more rhubarby than courgettey, and visually a tad kiwiy. And because I don’t have enough on my plate at the moment, I then spent a disproportionally long time making a label, only to press the wrong button at the last moment and my design to disappear. By this time I was really over doing crafts, so I went with what was left on my screen.

Now all I need are the scones and some cream. Roll on tomorrow tea time!

But if the clocks start striking 13, we’re in serious trouble. Happy Birthday G.O.


Resources

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/nov/09/george-orwell-saffron-buns-food

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