I actually feel like I am drowning – literally not figuratively!  What the hell happened to Summer?  I would like to remind it that I live in a house that has no heating, no insulation to speak of and my conservatory leaks – and that is an understatement – I don’t mean that the windows leak, there are huge puddles in the middle of the room where the roof seals have broken down.  I am desperately trying not to spend money on it ( I obviously have not read my last post ), but the only things that like being in there are my tomatoes, aubergines and peppers – and I think that are thinking of leaving!

Living in the countryside is really no fun in this weather.  I know that there is that saying ‘there is no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothes’, but every time I step out of my door I am knee-deep in mud, the grass is sodden and my veg are drowning.

So today, in order to cheer myself up I am making plum jam.  Plum jam with vanilla.  It smells wonderful and although maybe not a summery as the raspberry jam that I made last week, the kitchen has taken on a heavenly aroma which is just about masking the damp smell coming from the conservatory.

I have popped the recipe at the bottom of this piece – I got it from Bake the Neat a site I haven’t seen before.  In the interest of research I shall have to try the jam on some of my husband’s very yummy sourdough bread with just a little ( a lot ) of butter.

On a positive note because the rain has kept me from the garden I have spent the afternoon playing around with scaled drawings of my bathrooms, positioning fittings, windows etc.  I have realised that my dream designs for the main bathroom and the en -suite won’t fit.  That is somewhat dispiriting but at least now I know and all that I have wasted is my time.  So it’s back to the drawing board and more bread and jam to lift my spirits.  Come on sun – do your stuff.

The Recipe

The recipe is basically 1.5 kg plums, stones removed.  Cook gently n slightly less than half a cup of water – about 100 mls for about 40 mins until soft.  Add 1.5 kgs granulated sugar – I added a bit less as I often find these things too sweet, the scrapings from a vanilla pod and juice of half a lemon.  Cook slowly until sugar has completely dissolved then boil until setting point has been reached.  You can use a jam thermometer of some really cold plates to test for this.  If the jam wrinkles when pushed along the plate then it is done.  Skim – adding a knob of butter helps then pot into heated jars – they need to be heated in the oven to sterilise them.  Pop on some wax discs, then seal.  A label helps.  Enjoy.



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