Hello, sweet Planetarians – after all the excitement of the Wooden Boat Festival and the Regatta, life on Planet Baby has slowed down to a gentler pace. It’s given us time to visit my parents’ house to introduce the pixies to a treasured childhood activity – picking apricots from their garden. For weeks, Pa had been keeping them up-to-speed on their ripeness so the excitement was building. Finally, the big day arrived. I’ll let the photos tell the story.
Here is one of my parents’ apricot trees. It’s at least 30 years old. My childish hands have picked many a juicy, orange orb from it. And now it was the pixies’ turn! Nanna took the ceremonial photo before the work began.
Joshie was the first up Pa’s ladder, held firmly by Mr PB.
He was an industrious picker, rarely stopping for a break. And proud as punch of his efforts as well!
Then Miss India had a rare ‘girly’ photo with Mummy. Notice her smile for Nanna!
She then commenced picking the low-lying fruit. More her height and no scary ladder to negotiate on a hill. Sensible child!
And then, of course, Quicksilver Sam wanted to get in on the action!
So up the trusty ladder he climbed with Mummy’s help.
And then realised that is was a little *too* complicated. So down he climbed again.
So home to Planet Baby we tootled with laden buckets of lusciousness. Then Mr PB consulted Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion and hit pay dirt – her beloved and time-tested recipe. Not owning a jam pan (unlike my mother – I must hunt a vintage one down as new ones cost a fortune), we cooked it in an ordinary frypan.
Not owning a nut cracker (they’d sold out all over Hobart as jam making has apparently become the activité du jour for us Generation Xers now!), Joshie resorted to cracking the kernels with his little hammer.
We scavenged an array of glass jars – no fancy set of matching ones yet. Maybe next year. Then Mr PB and India set to work.
Mr PB ladled the golden goodness into the jars and then India pasted the plastic film on their tops, secured by rubber bands.
Then I stepped up with my mother’s borrowed pinking shears and my mother-in-law’s fabric offcuts. Here’s the end result.
Yep, we’re pretty proud of these little beauties, it being our first effort. And they passed the pixies’ taste test with flying colours (which is a huge endorsement in this family!).
We were so enthused, we branched out with strawberry jam.
And cherry plum jam. Hmm, I don’t think we’ll be buying jam for a long time!
Mr PB is quite getting *into* the whole jam making palaver. I just did the pretty bits at the end of the messy and labour-intensive process. I suspect this may not be the end of Planet Baby’s jam-making season!
So, I’d love to know - have you made any jam this summer? Have you pulled out a splattered but time-worn family recipe? Or is jam just not your thing? Do jump in and share – I’m interested to see if this ‘oldie but a goodie’ still has a future today.