Maybe a few months too early, but yesterday my home smelt of Christmas. Cinnamon and other spices mixed in with red wine and plums wafted around the house as I finally got around to cooking jam.
I didn’t have quite enough jam-sugar so I experimented. Through online research I found out that the main ingredients that makes jam, well, ‘jammy’, is pectin and since plums are high in pectin (like apples, citrus rinds and cranberries) I decided that plain sugar would suffice. Being in the experimenting mood I even added some Carrageen or Irish Moss (a tasteless but really healthy seaweed) into the mix. Not just based on any old whim, but based on the fact that it is know for its gelling properties – an added benefit is that it is known for its anti-viral properties and that it is believed to be an aphrodisiac can’t be a bad thing either!
The plums I had bought at the fruit & veg market were still a little bit hard, so I cut them up, pitted them and let them sit over night in sugar. When I went to make the jam and lifted the lid a wonderful fruity smell seduced my nose with its sweet plumy goodness.
A short while later, as I stood in the kitchen, while adding some red wine and spices and pureeing the fruit, I was enveloped by the scent of Christmas. And I have to admit it took some will power to not just put on ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ and give in to the feeling of Christmas.
Now I have thirteen glasses, of all different shapes and sizes, filled with a dark ruby red jam that will hopefully tastes as good as it smells – my morning toast will just have to surrender to some testing!