I’m so chuffed to be in England for the blackberry season. Ariègeois blackberries baked in the hot sun are sweet, characterless and make a rather dull jam. But then who goes to southern France to go blackberrying?
So yesterday I went out, meandered down a few nearby lanes, and came back with a bowl filled with large glossy, juicy, sweet and yet tart berries, a stained T shirt and fingers stuffed with tiny spines and tingling from nettle stings. I was very happy.
I set my berries to simmer down with the early apples from Jonet and Richard’s tree, and then…. only then, remembered I had neither a jelly bag nor a cache of jam jars ready waiting for the next stage. Oddly, I do have a preserving pan.
So it’s been the moment for a little ingenuity. An old clean T shirt ripped up made a jelly bag, and this morning we’ve been piling our toast with a week’s ration of marmalade, decanting apricot jam into a bowl, and scraping clean an almost-finished jar of honey. So far so good. But what happens when I need to make the next lot?