Dadda Gets Jammin’

What couldn’t be more seasonal at the moment than apricots? As golden as those sunny days that we had throughout April and May, with the reddish hue of sundown. The weather, a little greyer now that meteorological summer has arrived, so today I thought that we needed something to brighten us all up!

Golden Apricot Jam

Ingredients:

1.5kg Apricots

100ml Lemon Juice

1.5kg Sugar

Method:

Halve and de-seed your apricots, then quarter and place in a large saucepan.

Add your lemon juice and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

Your pulp is now ready for you to get Jammin’!

Add your sugar and stir in. Bring back to the boil. This may take several minutes.

You may have noted that I do not use apple pulp in this recipe! The truth is that apricots contain tons of pectin, the stuff that makes jam gel. You simply don’t need any booster.

Boil for 10 minutes. Once again, stirring occasionally. The stirring motion will help dissipate some of the bubbles. You could add a little butter also to help, but I don’t think it is necessary. If you keep the froth at bay, I just do the skimming at the end of the cooking. You do not want micro bubbles in your jam jars, do you? If you want a smoother jam, use a potato masher (very carefully) at this point to break up those larger pieces.

This jam does not need a lot of cooking. All that pectin makes this jam gel quickly. You will notice the drips from your spoon look thick and gelatinous. Perfect!

Sterilise your jars, ladle and jam funnel in your dishwasher. And carefully fill to the obligatory 8mm below the lid. Seal tightly and return jars to a large saucepan or steamer. Cover completely with hot water (if boiling) and boil for 20 minutes. Cool and dry off. I noted that 3kg (ish) of ingredients yielded 2.3kg of jam.

As a child and into my adulthood I did not like apricot jam at all. But then again, that was the shop brought stuff, so I’m not so surprised! However, these jars of homemade amber sunshine really could turn the humble apricots harshest critic into a lover. It certainly did with me! Amazing on heavily buttered, freshly baked bread.

Just Mulling It Over

The weekend over in a flash and another day has passed us by. Children now upstairs with daddy, getting ready for bed and here I sit thinking of what I should be writing about!

Gloomy weather has curtailed any crazy shenanigans in the garden of late. Thor and Aaliyah are of course back at school, so their presence was absent today. Amritsar and Tara are really very well behaved girls mostly, so nothing to comment on there today. Caleb has been by and large very good in both his homeschooling and playtime today, always a little more sedate without Thor and Aaliyah in his company. Just one more week and his plaster cast should be off! We will have our little guy back to normal. Looking forward to that – Hooray!

I’m a little apprehensive about this show we’re going to be on, airing this week on Thursday at 8pm on Channel 4. John and I are talking to the show’s psychologist tonight on the telephone. Should I be worried, what should I be thinking? I certainly hope there is not any negativity thrown our way after people watch it, just a small glance into ‘my big crazy family life’! But then again, I give that almost daily within the pages of my diary, don’t I. But one can’t help but mull things over!

I’m sure to mention the ‘Show’ again in the next couple of days. There’s no turning back, there’s no escaping the inevitability, is there?

Sorry, better cut this short as there is shouting drifting down from the top floor. Our phone call is about to happen and the children were asked expressly to keep a lid on it tonight given our phone call! Okay, up to get them settled.

A very good evening, night, morning and afternoon to you all.

Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner

I haven’t done one of these in a short while, so here is a selection of some of our evening meals from this last week. Sunday tonight, so a family roast chicken meal with the children. Roast meals used to be so trying. Every week I would tell myself that this meal would be the last one! All that work repaid with screams, ‘I’m not eating that’ and peas being tossed around! But perseverance paid off. The children voted a roast dinner their favourite family meal ever yesterday, replacing last years favourite of broccoli (red) pesto pasta!

Filet of Lamb Steak, mashed potatoes, asparagus and mushrooms.

Chicken (thigh) curry with basmati rice.

Easy Mock Roasty. Roast pork leg, deep fried potatoes, peas and cracklings.

Boiled gammon joint, mash and broccoli.

Filet steak, dauphinois potatoes and mangtout

Lobster bisque, peppered trout filet and prawns with mashed potato and samfire.

A tasty menu this week and enjoyed very much! Bon appetite everyone!