Today, for the first time ever, I made jam. Plum jam. I don't really know why - I don't even like plum jam - but I was overcome by madness in the produce section of the supermarket and bought 2kg of plums with the clear intention of jamming them.
I was going to take a photo of the tempting piles of plums so that you would understand, but apparently supermarkets don't like you taking photos. Why? Do they worry that you will sell the information to their competitors? "Pak N Save... Pak N Save... did you hear Countdown has pineapples? On special?"
Anyway, here is how the jam-making process went. The rest of this post is basically a jam recipe and I'm not sure how universally appealing that is but JAM MANIA.
Chop up 2kg of plums. Figure A shows the amount of plums I had chopped when I realised abruptly that I was fucking sick of chopping plums; and Figure B shows the required amount of chopped plums.
Put the plums in a pan with 2 cups of water and cook them on a medium heat until they are squidgy and kind of almost stewed. I don't remember how long this took but it's not rocket science. Then you add 1.8kg of sugar, which is HEAPS.
Went and got Mum to check (Mum checked many things and was instrumental in the success of the jam) if it was the right amount of sugar, because it was SO MUCH. "Yes." she said. "That's why we try not to eat too much jam."
Put the sugar in the jam, turn the heat up and boil the fuck out of it.
After about 10 mins of steady boiling drop a splodge of jam on a cold plate, wait for it to cool, then shove it with your finger. If it wrinkles back, it is ready to put in jars. If it doesn't, more boiling. My jam required 17 minutes total boil time (TBT). Also, don't put your finger in the hot jam. I know it sounds obvious but my finger is still sore. And if you do put your finger in the hot jam, don't then put the jammy finger in your mouth.
When jam is ready put it in jars (which need to be clean and warm, otherwise hot jam into cold glass = hot jam and cold glass shards EVERYWHERE). This is messy, especially when you thought you had a funnel but didn't:
I like to call this one "Ally, stop taking photos of your jam and clean up the kitchen."
Then you put lids on, or little rounds of cellophane & rubberbands that you can buy from I don't know where but your mother or aunt will.
And then you leave the jam alone. And then, eventually, you eat the jam, whilst saying things like "I am the JAM MASTER" and "jam jam jam" and "Next week I shall make Rhubarb and Lime." And thusly ends the JAM MANIA!
(Oh yeah it made 7 and a half jars. Probably important to mention that.)