Today we got ourselves in a bit of a jam.  Blackcurrants were ripe, juicy and begging to be picked.

We only picked the ripest ones that seemed to just fall off the branches and left the unripe berries for another day.

We estimated that we had four kilograms of blackcurrants and therefore had to make the jam in two batches.  The lovely Sharon threw herself into going through colanders for the first batch to find and remove; leaves, twigs, earwigs, beetles and spiders.  Some insects (and arachnids) may have been harmed in the making of this jam.

While she carried on with her deadly crusade I filled the oven with jam jars and put a pot of lids on to the boil.

Ten minutes of a rolling boil should be sufficient to ensure they are sterile.  If you boil the lids for a few more hours or so you might get the basis of an interesting stew.

A few weeks ago I bought rather a lot of sugar when we were doing our weekly outing to the super market; ten kilograms to be precise.  The lovely Sharon thought this was ridiculous and seemed to think it was strange that sugar for the bees should be included in our trolley.  Today we suddenly needed six kilograms to make the jam and she was not laughing so much now.  We have yet to inform the bees of this and I have insisted that Sharon should be the one to pass on the bad news.

The two batches were finally poured after a lot of humming and the pondering of little puddles of jam on chilled plates to establish its suitability.  We now find ourselves the proud owners of thirty two jars* of jam that we are unsure what to do with.  *Thirty one jars after the firewood man just left us with a truck load of wood.  We sent him on his way with a jar of jam and a box of eggs.  Unfortunately it was not a straight swap.