When Jean and Brian invited us to help ourselves to however many blackcurrants we wanted from their garden, it was the perfect excuse to delve into a new activity. I myself prefer making chutney (less faff, more fool proof), but Joe had a hankering to try jam making.
There were certainly plenty of currants, and within 20 minutes of concentrated picking, we had 3 kilos.
The thing with so many currants, is that there is a lot of fiddly de-stalking to be done. We didn't bother with taking the dried flowers off, because as we later discovered, they simply disappear in the boiling process. I mention this specifically, as I searched the internet for ages trying to find this fact out, with limited results. So if you're reading about this via a search engine - don't sweat about the tops, just try to remove as many of the little green stalks as you can, without your eyes going squiffy.
Then we unearthed an ancient old pan of mine (now officially the 'jam pan') and began cooking. Had I realised how simple jam making is, I would have taken it up years ago. And it makes the kitchen smell delicious!
I even managed to find some waxed jam discs which had been lurking in a box for Lord knows how many years. Sterilised jars were filled.
And the next day, suitable labels were made. All a bit home-made, but pleasing nonetheless.
Bread and jam has become a very acceptable and affordable meal. We're about to make our third batch.