I am the proud maker of 186  jars of jam (and more to come)! Each jar contains about 130 g of product. I used small glass jars because I like to eat a different jam every day, and, the most important reason, I already had little jars ( bought 10 years ago).  They have been used many times but have been kept in their original boxes between use, so they have traveled well. I lubricate the rubber seals with Vaseline in the off season which keeps the rubbers soft and pliable forever. Having spent a great deal of time in laboratories in my undergraduate days, sterilising everything is something I spend a lot of time on.  Also, I label and date every jar properly. 

I still want to make banana (I shall buy from the little local greengrocer) and tomato jam (my tomatoes are not growing well so the local greengrocer will have to supplement),  then I think I may have a good supply of jam to eat and give away to last until the next berry season.

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In the first picture I am cleaning bottles.  Second picture shows the jams inside the bottles  being pasteurised .  Pictures 3 and 4 shows everything labled and packed. The jams pictured on toast are cherry (unsaleable seconds given to me by a farmer/market vendor), blueberry (picked on a local farm), apricot bought from the farmer on the Sunday market (most of which were eaten and given to the grand kids), plums from our tree, apples from our tree. I bought about $10 worth of sugar, and traded some eggs for lemons. All up costs for the lot was less than $30, or 16 cents per jar and I know what is in them – no preservatives, no thickeners, no setting agents, no coloring, no flavoring, no nothing – only fruit and sugar and it tastes FANTASTIC!

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I spent many happy evenings pottering in my kitchen – all in all a great project.

Backyard Killer

The neighbour’s dog killed one of my roosters a few weeks ago. The fence was duely patched up on their side but the dog continued to find new ways of entering my yard. It is a huge animal and can force its way through any hedge.  It also jumps over fencing that would deter a smaller dog. Last night it broke in to one of my quail cages and now 6 quails are missing, presumably killed. The neighbour was as upset as we were about the dead rooster but I have not seen her about the quails yet.

We live in a street with good neighbours, everyone a gardener and a few with chickens roaming about. There are plenty of dogs but up until now none of them have been a nuisance.  I would hate to disturb this happy state of affairs but I have to address the cruel deaths of my birds.

What a rotten start to the day.