Friday, 5 October 2007


Tomorrow I am going to the farmer's market after my flu jab and I don't care how tired I am. I will be heading straight for the nearest preserves stall. I will be polite enough to buy a jar of their finest seasonal fare. Then I will reach inside my bag and pull out this

I have another ten of these in my kitchen, though not all in the ever so posh jars that came with my kit. All lined up they look very pretty. I was worried it would be cloudy or wouldn't set. No worries on either of those fronts. I declare my first rosehip and apple jelly at least a partial success because it is jelly, it did set, it is clear, and it looks nice.

Open the lid and take a taste and... it's too sweet. That's why I need jam surgery. I would like them to taste it and tell me what they think. So far it's absolutely divine on crumpets, but shockingly sweet when just on its own, and limited in its uses I fear.. I can't possibly eat it in large quantities, and my son gagged. I'm actually thankful for that as if he'd loved it I'd have had the mother of all sugar rushes on my hands.

So what to do with 11 jars of too sweet jelly? I am a woman on the verge of an obsession. I loved making this. I got it slightly wrong. I want to give it another go, with less sugar. Does anyone have 2lb of rosehips going spare? I just feel bad about giving this stuff to people I know. I don't think it would be responsible, with so many kids in the neighbourhood. They'd all be frothing at the mouth. And don't you hate it when you've made something and people try to be polite? God, just spit it out and go "Puh! Aaag! Bloody terrible." I guess I'll give it to people with a sweet tooth without kids. Then. More rosehips? There's an abundance down the road. I may knock the door and offer them some new-improved jelly if I can pick some.

Edited: I wrote an update on family stuff below but have decided to edit it down and keep things very, very brief. It's because at the moment I need to actually escape what is proving to be a turbulent family time. And if that has to be achieved by making jam then boring everyone silly by writing about it then so be it.

My Grandma had her brain scan. She found it distressing but because she hasn't lost any of her natural resilience she got through it.

When I have my wisdom tooth out I will be recovering at home. The stress of recent weeks has taken its toll on my mum's mental health. She needs a rest.


Cottage Smallholder said...

It's such a shame that your first foray into jelly making was not 100% successful. Your photos are beautiful - a real inspiration.

I think the jelly was too sweet as there was too much liquid therefore too much sugar. Adding a litre of water to the rosehip gloop was probably a bit too much. I've made this mistake myself and ruined a batch of quince jelly in the past. The lemon juice is essential as it brings out the flavour of the apple.

The apple and rosehip jelly should have a delicate taste not over sweet.

seahorse said...

Thanks for stopping by :-) I love your site and get a real sense that you enjoy writing it as much as people enjoy reading. It's lovely.

I will take on board your advice and try again. It's the only way to learn. And I really do like sitting in the kitchen lost in jam-making. Total escapism.