Newest news from the strawberry jam front the tide of strawberries is upgrading, threatening to engulf me in a wave of strawberries waiting to be processed, taking up whole shelves of the fridge, lurking in corners just when I thought Id done the last batch. Heaving a sigh of relief as the last pot is filled & varnished, I turn around only to find the kitchen table groaning below a fresh sea of newly picked strawberries waiting to be sorted.There is no more room on the larder shelves for jam what Ive got there already will likely last us a decade at the current rate of consumption, Ive used up all the jam jars & am down to oddly shaped mustard jars, coffee jars & outsized sauce jars & there are still a good couple of weeks of strawberry time of year to go. I have to begin selling the jam..memories of a film, where ex-city career lady, moves to country with baby in tow, starts making apple puree baby food & ends up with a full scale job employing half the town, flit through my head. Land baby was her brand, with a adorable picture of child, designed to draw in to else city people looking for the good life. Brain you she was a PR person, so had a head begin on promoting things & Im not a job person at all, just someone with too much jam on their hands, larder shelves & everywhere else in the home.So, I take a stall at the local grocery shop & get in with a basket of jam, a couple of jars of marmalade for diversify, a table & seat. I find out a couple of things people smile when they see strawberry jam, people like strawberries, there is a high feel-good factor about them, they conjure up summertime & celebration & treats. Its not a hard product to trade, people are predisposed in its favour; the price just has to be not too scary. Many people are more attracted by the pretty textile covers up up on the lids & select one to concur their kitchen dcorIll have to toil on the pretty nature. No Im not about to become a strawberry jam millionaire, but I did sell ten jars.After thinking Id got the jam consistency sorted, producing reliably runny but not too runny jam, I suddenly became out numerous batches that set completely – thick strong stand-up-your-spoon-in jam. Nowadays I know its all about pectin & how much there is in the yield, but why today? I did leave it soaking in the sugar longer since I didnt get round to cooking it till the good, but does that do anything to pectin levels? Anyway, I nowadays have 2 varieties of strawberry jam thick & runny, both have a good flavour – & both sorts have their aficionados. But nowadays the dilemma is, am I competent to reproduce the thick jam to order or will it only happen by accident? Were a long route from scientific laboratory controlled conditions here. a wing & a prayer is more like it. So prayer itll have to be, if my grocery shop clients return demanding thick strawberry jam!Copyright 2005 Kit Heathcock
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