When I make jam I always feel like I should have a floral apron on, an immaculate kitchen, an empty laundry basket and perhaps two immaculately groomed, non hair shedding, bow-tie wearing dogs behaving themselves while I buzz from stove top to fridge (a zillion blooming times) testing my jam and, God forbid, humming a merry tune.
I'm pretty sure Nigella hasn't got piles of books on her dining room floor, prairie dust balls of dog hair rolling through her hall and dirty football kit from three days ago to wash!
This is our second batch of plum jam (M made the first and got a paltry half dozen jars from the recipe he followed). I decided to use twice as much fruit which took twice as long to reach setting point, but that could also have been because the plums are really ripe now. In fact most are over and we've left it late because we've been away.
I've not been able to locate my big box of Kilner jars (in the attic somewhere with various bits of kitchen cupboard contents we thought we wouldn't miss for six months, it'll be closer to six years, trust me), so we've got all sorts of shapes and sizes of jars this year which makes it much more fun. The ones without lids have been sealed with baking parchment circles and fabric and... loom bands! They were handy and proper elastic bands were nowhere to be found.
I've made a dozen jars. We will give a few away and still have plenty for the next twelve months. I may have said this last year, but we also have a great cooking apple tree. I make a couple of apple pies and give some apples to our neighbours but that's usually it. This year I'm going to freeze the cut up apples with a view to making apple pies as and when we feel like them. It's one thing I can make with rubbish gluten free pastry and get away with it.
I'm unexpectedly home today, and not at a cricket match. J had an infected cuticle thing earlier in the week and despite antibiotics it kept getting bigger and bigger. Late last night I made an executive decision and took him to A&E, it was making him feel quite unwell.
Friday night is obviously a popular night for children having nasty accidents, there were a few bumped heads, a gashed shin, a broken toe, a gashed cheek, a couple of poorly babies. Then there were a group of men who were alcoholics. They were a bit stinky. There were a couple of psychiatric patients wandering about and one decided to pick on a random stranger and not very eloquently told him to 'go away'. I got the giggles at this point and nearly choked on a sherbert lemon!
I reassured J that they would spray the finger before lancing it and of course they didn't. The doctor just said that it wouldn't hurt, only the squeezing afterwards would. J was very brave. I'd have insisted on numbing spray! It's the longest finger on his bowling hand so no cricket today or tomorrow. He is somehow managing to operate his Xbox controller though, funny that.