Wednesday 8 November 2023

Wednesday 8th November - High Dumpsie Dearie Jam (1) and a Catastrophe - of sorts..

 Here's the jam in stage 1;

I'm messing about with the quantities, as I am using my small (my only!) slow cooker; it looked very alarming when I dumped (see what I did there?) 2 chopped pears, four halved and stoned plums and the end of a packet of frozen apple slices into the pot. That came to about 750g in total, peeled and pressed weight, so I started adding about 700g of jam sugar - horrors; the pot threatened to overflow! With a bit of careful work with a tablespoon the sugar filled the spaces between the fruit, and I was able to finish adding the sugar, the juice and zest of half a lemon, and in lieu of fresh ginger, a coupe of pieces of crystallized ginger chopped small. The picture shows that it has become a soft slurry after one hour on low, at which point I looked at it, gave it all a stir, and turn the pot through 180 degrees as I know there is a slight hot spot somewhere. As the recipe for the slow cooker peach jam noted, ' don't worry, it is unlikely that all the sugar will have dissolved after an hour' and they were right.

I shall look at it again in another hour or so and see if it looks ready for the next stage. (How will I know? I have no idea. It's not as though I am an experienced jam maker with any method!)

Digression; I recently splurged out on a fine microplane grater. I should have done this years and years and years ago. Suddenly zesting lemons has become a pleasure, not a chore, and fine grating a little bit of cheese for our scrambled eggs last night was the work of a moment. I shall buy a medium grater next  and throw ALL the other graters away.

Here are my jars, all sparkly clean, waiting to be sterilized when the moment comes.

Top tip from one of the jam articles - always sterilize more jars than you think you need. That's a good idea. Why didn't I think of it before?

Confession; Himself HATES using a washing up bowl with a passion; I much prefer it. I have tried to introduce such an object into our domestic arrangements several times over the 46 years we have been married, but in the pursuit of domestic harmony I haven't persisted. UNTIL NOW! I have started using this old Tupperware mixing bowl, which is a perfect size, and hiding it in the cupboard under the sink when not in use. Just occasionally I have left it out too long, and he has discovered it and put it away at the bottom of the stack of baking bowls, but today I told him of my plan. Now we can both be happy for another 46 years! (I will be 112 years old by then  so perhaps not the whole 46 years) 

Catastrophes. In the plural. The concern The Great Bedroom Upheaval.

The first catastrophe is really a modification; we can't fit both wardrobes into the same length of wall as that occupied by our bed. The long wall is subdivided by a chimney breast, and now I remember that one wardrobe went one side of the chimney breast and the other on the other. So that doesn't hugely affect the overall plan.

The second one though, means that the plans really, really won't work. What I had not factored in, and Himself hadn't double checked the dimensions of the furniture I was hoping to put along the other wall.  This is most unlike Himself, because after 46 years he does know from bitter experience that my measurements are frequently approximate, often optimistic, and usually inaccurate. 

Last tine around, 20-30 years ago, the bed plus two beside cabinets fitted neatly, nay, exactly along the wall. But we have bought a new bed since, a bigger bed to accommodate is 6' 2" height, and therefore wider than the previous one, and now, guess what, the proposed  arrangement of bed and cabinets now means that we wouldn't be able to open the bedroom door properly.

That has totally scuppered The Great Bedroom Upheaval.

Plan B, however, is a very acceptable substitute; Himself will continue to tackle The Great Paper Pile and the Heaps of Useless Technology - redundant computers, computer carcasses, disk drives and whatnot, and we shall have a beautiful, tidy bedroom free from heaps and stacks. That will do.

I'm off to see if the jam is ready for jarring now...




  1. I made a very successful slowcooker ragu on Monday using up leftovers from veg drawer in fridge plus some mince from the freezer. We had some with pasta Monday, and more with rice yesterday. It's been cold and wet here today, but I still spent much of the morning outside on the garden .the princess of Wales came to Swanton Morley this morning (to the army camp)but I did not see her. I'm not making jam this year, I've been given more jars than I can reasonably eat!

    1. Slow cookers are brilliant! I shall be using mine for carrot soup, as we've somehow ended up with two great bags of carrots.