…You Lose Some

what I managed to save from the jaws of th elittle paddler (photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)
what I managed to save from the jaws of th elittle paddler
(photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)

While Mr. Fairweather and his brother were getting ready to take some trees down, Little Paddler and I were combing the ditches along the field for blackberries. The place was teeming with them. I couldn’t believe there were so many this late in to October. The ones along our lane avenue, had long since been cleaned off. Mr. Fairweather reckoned if we wanted them to grab them now before the trees came down and blocked my access. Good plan. I had jam making on my mind. This time I thought I would make blackberry and apple jam. We had the apples; more than enough. I even had a lovely simple looking recipe. What could go wrong?

I have learned (or at least am learning) that if I say this, it definitely means that something will go wrong. Turns out that I can’t read a recipe and I lobbed all the ingredients in to the pan together when I should have stewed the fruit first before adding the sugar. Mr. Fairweather wandered over that evening as I was in the middle of my jam making disaster making and had a look. With his expert eye he announced that I would turn the whole thing in to toffee. Don’t be daft, I said. It’ll be fine if I just add a little water, I was sure. He wandered off again.

it smelled amazing (photo credit: fairweather paddler)
it smelled amazing
(photo credit: fairweather paddler)

It looked good. It smelled good. But oh man, was it taking ages to get the liquid to evaporate off. I kept stirring and checking. It wasn’t budging. Slowly it started to reduce. It started to smell amazing. It was looking amazing – if a little runny.  Surely it would come good soon, I thought. The smell changed slightly and the colour took on a brownish tinge instead of the deep burgundy it had been. Hold your nerve, I told myself. It was getting late. Mr. Fairweather had gone to bed. The consistency finally looked right. I didn’t have time or energy to test the setting point. I just whacked it in to the jars.

The spoon started to stick to things. The jam, when it dripped on to my hand started to harden up instead of just forming a bit of a skin. This wasn’t good.

I left it and went to bed.

I woke up and opened the smallest jar and stuck a spoon in. It bounced. The whole thing was rock hard. All the jars were. I had made blackberry and apple toffee. hard, glass like toffee.  A much sought after skill somewhere I am sure, but not in my kitchen. It is what I refer to as an unmitigated disaster. Ah well. You win some, you lose some…..

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11 thoughts on “…You Lose Some

  1. So sorry to hear of your jam disaster with my recipe. I had this happen with a cherry and apple jam I once tried to develop for the local produce show and after allowing it to boil for too long I managed to make rubber jam. The good news was that I never did this again and that my standby jar of one punnet strawberry jam picked up 1st prize.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You certainly do win some and lose some – although I think apple and blackberry toffee sounds lovely. I still have jars of not properly set medlar jelly from earlier this year – not enough pectin in it. But I can’t bear to throw them out. Next time I will add a few apples to the mix. You live and learn, but quite frankly does it have to be such a steep learning curve ?

    Liked by 1 person

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