Black and Grey, slow rolling carpet clouds, heave and pull themselves across the Rye skyline, huffing and moody as they go
Today, with the weather winds turning and the first hint of crisp autumn chill in the air, we legged it outside to plunder the blackberry bushes that line the river Tillingham.
It’s a grey September Saturday, did I mention it was grey? Another weekend of my husband being away, another weekend of sole parenting. The type of weekend when you realise the only people you’ve spoken to are your children or yourself.
During these long haul days, music, baking and jam making help to lighten the load. I’ve been listening to The Cure and remembering fleeting moments of a misspent youth. The album Seventeen Seconds picks through the air waves of my kitchen. Hardly uplifting or energising, but the jangling reverbed fender guitar riffs twist memories around in my mind, the old yet familiar lyrics and gloomy arrangements strangely soothing. All those teenage hours in a box room in Runcorn, singing along whilst inhaling a mist of Inset hairspray, never did I imagine I would be jamming with blackberries, two children in an oversized townhouse whilst listening to A Forest (Keira & Dylan doing a fine job of air guitar, and constantly asking me to play it again) This track has the ability to transport me, and so the hours go by…
Black Cloud Blackberry JamPrint Recipe
- 450g Jam sugar
- 450g Blackberries
- 2 Tablespoons of Pectin
- The juice of 1 Lemon
Rinse the blackberries
Place a stainless steel or copper pan
Add the sugar and Lemon juice and turn up the heat
Keep the mix at a roaring boil
after about 20 mins, once the blackberries are visibly broken down, check the temperature with a sugar thermometer
The temperature should be no less than 104oc
Allow to cool down slightly
Transfer into sterilised glass jars, sealing the lid.
Label and store in a cool dark place.