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[personal profile] geordieyankee
Yesterday was Jam Day 2008.

Every July we wander off to Brockbushes, a farm about 15 miles away near Corbridge that lets you pick your own fruit.  So this year we set off about 10 days earlier than normal (we went on 26 July 06, 27 July 07) to steal a march on the other berry pickers.  It was a grey, overcast day with intermittent showers, but it held off while we picked, happily.  

The mother in law, the niece, Voddie and I departed at about 930 am (the niece skipped her last day of school to come picking, so i hope she had a good time!) to get to the fields.  After successfully picking 7 kilos of gooseberries, 4 kg of raspberries and about 4 kilos of strawberries, we had some lunch.

When we got home we began the process of....JAM MAKING!!

Began with the raspberry; 4 kilos is a lot of berries, and we managed, once it was all distilled out and mixed with the sugar, to come away with about 16.5 lbs of jam.  We then used about half of the gooseberries to make another 12 lbs of that.  Tomorrow looks likely to be the turn of the strawberries, which should be fun.  

Jam Day is always great.  We get to go off to Northumberland and wander through rows of berry canes, feel the wind in our face and remember what it is that makes life so wonderful.  And at the end of the day, we have a shedload of jam to get us through about 6 months!  You really can't beat it.  There is something almost spiritual about picking, mashing, sugaring, mixing, testing, pouring, sealing and cleaning.  Maybe it's that from field to jar was about 2 hours, and everything is as fresh as can be.  Dunno.  It's just fun.

And this year's labels are tastefully understated, French, and monochrome.  Year 4 of Sweet FA Jams.  "Nothing added, nothing taken away.  Sweet FA!" 



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