Jam today


I have built up a collection of old jam jars, and when the stars align I buy fruit and make jam. Jam is always in fashion in our household. The Brazilian’s favourite is pear and ginger; mine is strawberry. When the stars fail to align, the empty jars build up in the cupboard. There are always too many jars, for some reason, and never enough jam. A surplus jam jar makes the perfect vase for a simple posy of crimson pelargonium, dusty miller, chive flowers, tiny alliums, old St John’s wort berries and old oregano flowers.


Once today’s posy-making was done, I found that the stars had aligned and provided me with four sticks of rhubarb from our garden and a punnet of fresh Scottish strawberries.

IMG_0010In a vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the GardenIMG_0002

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29 thoughts on “Jam today

      1. I’ve learned after 2 or 3 years, harvest cuttings and discard the old monster lolling across the path. Dusty Miller is at its perfect best when it forms a silver fountain of foliage. I have 4 flourishing cuttings just waiting their chance to grow up into MONSTERS!

  1. This is why I enjoy the meme so much, Joanna – you never know what is going to appear and once again you have shown how simply it can be done, with definitely no ‘vase’ needed. the jam jar is perfect – with or without the jam! How was your setting with the rhubarb and strawberry? I haven’t made strawberry jam for years as I don’t grow them but in the past I used to use the juice of redcurrants to help it set. Glad your stars were aligned today!

  2. This made me smile as I’ve just washed another kilo of strawberries and am contemplating making either jam or my easy strawberry ice-cream sorbet. My favourite jam is the one I’m eating but jam made with fresh Scottish raspberries sounds divine. I really liked your jar and posy too Joanna, simply charming.

  3. And here I am always looking for short, squat vases when they’ve been there all the time – I just have to open the right cabinet! You’ve created a wonderful little bouquet with just the right container.

    1. Thanks Kris – necessity is the mother of invention and all that… I just don’t have enough vases so have started to look around for other vessels. Haven’t got desperate enough to try tupperware yet, but who knows, perhaps even that has potential?

  4. You are so right about the jam jars – I think they are breeding in my cupboards! They do make very attractive vases though and yours looks lovely with that selection of flowers (and with the jam!!).

    1. Yes, perfect and indeed trendy. A bit East London, don’t you think… I once lived in Hackney, and possibly absorbed some of this hurrah-for-the-Empire, cricket and gumboots, vases-are-rationed-so-here’s-a-jam-jar thing by osmosis.

  5. Lovely little jar, Joanna! And so glad the stars aligned for your jam. Lemons to add pectin, must remember that one. I’ve only really just started making jam and I seem to have to boil it to death … will try again.

    1. Lemons add acidity, which activates the pectin if the fruit is very ripe and non-acidic. My jam-making recipe goes as follows, and never fails me: weigh prepared fruit, add same weight of jam sugar (ordinary sugar ok if pectin-high fruit – can google for list), melt slowly till sugar dissolved and fruit stewed, turn up the heat and boil like mad. When you’re bored of boiling it (usually 10ish mins for my attention span), drop a drop onto a plate. Give it a push after a minute or so and if it doesn’t crinkle then squirt in the lemon and carry on boiling for a bit, repeat. Pour into hot jam jars. No thermometers, no skimming, no fuss. Whole process over in about 20 minutes.

  6. Hi Joanna, I love your pretty little arrangement and the jam jar does make the perfect vase. I’ve heard of dusty miller but don’t, as yet, have it growing in my garden. It does make a lovely accompaniment for the crimson of the pelargonium. It’s many years since I made any jam – I rarely eat it, my children are grown up and gone and there’s only so much jam my husband can get through – but I still collect jars 🙂

    1. Hi Elizabeth, thanks for visiting and for your lovely comment. The dusty miller does go well with the pelargonium, but it does get out of hand and I find it can look a bit suburban if not in the right setting. It’s a survivor though – ours did not die back much during the Scottish winter and you may therefore find it quite handy for brightening bare winter patches.

      1. I’ll keep that tip about the dusty miller in mind, Joanna, I had a few bare winter patches that could have done with brightening up. It’s been a dreadful winter over here on the west coast – so many awful storms! It’s put the garden back weeks. I lived in Edinburgh when young and I remember it could be seriously cold there too.

  7. your jam jar arrangement is lovely 🙂 and Im sure the jam will taste lovely too… scottish raseberries – lovely… I’ve never made jam must give it a go sometime… i make chutney every year.

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