Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's time for Jam

Photo: Greta Kenyon Photography

Rhubarb jam. It's also time to tell you about another Kinfolk event which I was very honoured to be co-hosting alongside On My Hand.

The theme for the event was 'Preserving the Season'. This was my first time as a host and for some reason I decided it would be a super great idea to teach everyone how to make jam. Given that I haven't made much jam in my life (because I thought it was hard - it's not; because I thought it was time-consuming - not so much; because I thought it was messy - it is) I don't really know why my mind was saying 'heck yeah, jam!' Especially when the venue for our workshop had no kitchen. No stove top. No sink. No plumbing (when you turned the bathroom tap on water came out of a hole in the kitchen wall. Just straight from a little hole onto the floor). But regardless of these details it was still a beautiful venue.

In a nutshell, I stood in front of 20 guests and showed them how to make jam. I also showed them how to melt holes into a trestle table using cast iron camp burners. Whoops. Someone asked 'why is my pot on a lean?'...turns out those burners aren't designed for making jam on plastic tables. I taught people more than just how to make jam that day. 

Minor incidences aside, I hope everyone enjoyed the event - based on all the wonderful feedback I am pretty confident that they did. The location styling by Shaye from On My Hand was outstanding as usual, the food (also by Shaye - multi-talented lady that she is) was also beautiful and all our guests made for fantastic company! Thank you to Greta Kenyon for ensuring these fun moments are always captured in a positive light (all photos shown are Greta's) and to our sponsors: Hello Paper, Maisy & Grace, George and Mount Wholefoods. Now, let's make some jam.

Photo: Greta Kenyon Photography

Rhubarb & Vanilla Jam 
800g rhubarb stalks, cut into chunks
650g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split
35g Jam Setting Mix (or pectin)
zest & juice of one orange
40ml water
juice of half a small lemon

Place all the ingredients, aside from the lemon juice, in a large saucepan and stir to combine. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon juice and increase the heat. Boil for 10 minutes, skimming off any of the ‘scum’ that comes to the surface (this is nothing bad, it just doesn’t look pretty in your finished jam).

To test if the jam is ready spoon a teaspoonful onto a small, cold plate. If after a minute or two you can push the jam and it holds its shape it’s ready, if not keep boiling and testing every few minutes.

When the jam is ready pour into hot sterilised jars and seal. To sterilise jars and lids wash and place in the oven for 10mins at 100ÂșC. Store jam in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Opened jam should be stored in the fridge.

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