When I was younger…so much younger than today, I never thought I never needed anybody’s help in any way. In fact, I was only too happy to look for help as I steered my little family craft through the rocky shoals of life. Him Indoors and I were both freelance (a.k.a living life on a wing and a prayer), raising our son, creating a beautiful garden (for me to write about) and much else. One thing I did was bottle, or can, my own produce and the tons of fruit I gathered at the local Pick-Your-Own (strawbs mostly) or from the old hedgerow round the garden (crab apples, damson & gage plums,blackberries, mulberries and such). Then, with my greenhouse-grown tomatoes, pickling cukes and anything I grew that would freeze, jam, pickle or butter, I’d retire to the kitchen range and for hours on end, pick over, slice, chop, measure, and stir — that was the lengthiest bit — turning the harvest turned to preserves. My mother (Irish farmgirl that she was and so resident know it all) helped from time to time with advice and (mostly) admonitions. That jangled my nerves, but the steam did wonders for my complexion, and the goods were, well, good. Amazingly so. To think about it now makes me tired.
Thus, I am full of admiration for the next generation of jam-makers, sweating their toil over a hot cauldron. Or are they? I just encountered the latest bit of technology to ease it’s helpful way into our existence. Check it out: The Fresh Tech Automatic Jam Maker from Ball. Watch closely. One of the selling points is that it will allow the user to “Brag to your Mother-in-Law.” Well, this MiL wants one herself so she can start her own bragging rights about her homemade chutneys and such.
A little salt added to sweet jam punches up the flavor, but now I can add tang with a pinch of the real thing, rather than from the sweat of my brow. Oh Yes! this is help I can use.