In a jam – again.

I really don’t cook. I’m terrible at it, with a total disinterest in food and all the things like it. But I do, it turns out, quite like making jam. I’ve made it before and enjoyed it so when Persil sent me a jam making kit, I thought I would try again.

Ok. I can do this #jam #cooking #persilchallenge

It did however take me rather a long time to  get round to it; time disappeared and we never did make it to the pick your own, so the COMPLETELY ENORMOUS blackberries got bought on our Tesco trip :lol:

I went for blackberry and apple this time because of the naturally occurring pectin in apples that saves buying special sugar or faffing with lemon juice and tricky setting points. I used FabFood4All’s recipe, a Tots100 blogger I hadn’t come across before – she was very friendly on Twitter.

Blackberries and apples courtesy of our #tescofuelsave shopping spree #jam #cooking @tescofood #persilchallenge

My top tips for am making:-

  • clean down everything first, make sure you have lots of space.
  • dishwasher EVERYTHING – pots, ladle, spoon, slotted spoon, lids, easy pourer, saucepan for minimum germs that could get into the jam.
  • Have a boiled kettle ready to reboil and use for sterilising the ladle if you drop it.
  • Stick a saucer in the freezer for the crinkle test.
  • Wear shoes.
  • Use a much bigger pot than you think you’ll need. It really comes up and you don’t want to be hanging around boiling it slowly to stop it boiling over on to your toes. (See point above).

Yum. #jam #cooking

Love the colours. This was before the sugar, it goes all shiny once that’s in.

Most gorgeous colour. #jam

And it worked! (That was exactly the number of jars I had ready; impressed? I was!

Ta Da!!! #jam

Respect due for the setting perfection I think.

That is a good jam :) hurrah!

The purpose, aside from making yummy jam, was to try out a new Persil Dual Action Laundry Capsule, that funny thing that looks like a dingy at the front. The Persil Dual Action capsules are just coming to the end of the box here as we’ve been using them through the summer. Aside from the funky shape (I keep imagine them rafting merrily inside the drum), they do seem to be rather good. I wash on 30 degrees as a rule and often use quick or low water quantity and haven’t had any issues with cleanliness. We always do use Persil anyway, everything else causes hives on various people here. I love things that aren’t powder and go straight in the drum, they save a lot of mess. I’d quite like it if Max started getting these. Admittedly at £10 for 28 washes, it is a bit more expensive than powder (I’ve done some calculations and I think £29 for 100 washes in powder is 29p a wash, £10 for 28 is 36p a wash) but for convenience or perhaps for going away and using laundrettes or for heavier stains that benefit from the stain remover granules included in the centre., it could be worthwhile.

The money shot.

I used my muslin to wipe up and strain lots of the jam and then washed it on my normal 30 degree, half filled cycle – the result was perfect, all blackberry stains gone.

Disclosure: Persil sent us the jam kit and the tablets – views and hard labour are our own. Additional weight gain due to jam consumption sadly also our own.

Just a wedding.

Today I spent the day at a wedding. I was Best Woman, which was an honour, and saw one of my dearest friends marry a beautiful and lovely woman. I had a gorgeous dress and my children and husband all looked gorgeous too. It was perfect. It was, apparently, the first bride and bride marriage in Oxfordshire. That’s quite exciting, in lots of ways. It’s always fun to be at the edge of the wave of something, one of the first. IMG_6603.JPG What struck me most though today, as I helped put brides into dresses, hold drinks, waft flower girls along the aisle and most of all watch two beautiful people who are in love get married, was how very ordinary it felt. Ordinary in a good way. Normal. Normal in a good way. It was two people getting married. Two happy people, in love, getting married. It struck me forcefully that as a society we’ve been as wrapped up in bride/groom normality as right and everything being ‘change’ or ‘progress’ or less positive words in the same way as we talk about a Kindle being an okay way to read but a ‘real book is a real book’. It’s nonsense. The essence of a book is words and story, not paper. The essence of a marriage is just two humans wanting to be together forever, for the sheer joy of a perfect partnership. I didn’t go to a gay or lesbian wedding today. I didn’t go to something new or remarkable or progressive. I went to a wedding. Just a wedding. Two people, in love, caring for each other, full of fun and kindness and passion for a future.

And it was unspeakably, perfectly, heartstoppingly beautiful.


Happy future, Claire and Angie. Happy everything.


I’ve got a little something going on. Obviously I started this just before Bene got home on the Friday afternoon when Fran was leaving school and going to reappear weeping lots and 7 people need feeding.

So it may take me a few hours to get back to it.

Please bear with… as they say ;)