A how-to on making jam

…. very cheaply. I think that’s the most important part. Preserves are traditionally made from excess fruit.

Cherry guava glut fruit

Cherry guava fruit.

Don’t think I didn’t see you there hipsters, spending $20 on enough out-of-season strawberries to make one pot of jam. I am writing this to tell you, enough of that rubbish! Time to use your noggin.

Local knowledge is important (as is opportunistic scrumping). How well do you know your edible fruiting plants? They’re out there, in your space right now, and everyone seems too time-poor (or embarrassed?) to do anything with them. Make your preserves when the fruit is available, in such abundance that it is literally rotting on the ground, and they will keep for the next gift-giving event.

A favourite tree, very prolific for the last couple of years.

Are there any forgotten trees in your local area? Here is a cherry guava, in season right now. Note the rubbish around the tree. Lots more rubbish around the back, too.

There was so much fruit. Which was good, because I was planning to make a lot of jam.

Still ripening.
While I was picking fruit, I was forcibly reminded of an important point when my hand brushed against some cold poo.

I am not the only creature that has a right to this tree! So, I left heaps of fruits for the birds, bugs and worms, as well as any others persons that might also want to eat some guavas. And before I left, I picked up the rubbish.

Guavas don’t float. This is a sink filled with cherry guavas.
And before I put any in my mouth, I washed them. This brings us to the fun part: top, tail, slice in half. I find this activity is best to do with friends and family members, it goes quicker and you have people to drink and complain with about how it takes so long.
Setting myself up in front of the tv for an hour or two.
Dull, dull times. And stained fingers the next day.

Add water to the pot enough to cover the fruit and simmer.

Boiling the fruit in shifts; two hours apiece.
Next lot to cut while the first lot is boiling.

Another thing to consider is the type of jam you’re making. Guavas have tough skins and very hard seeds, so the recipe asks me to use the juice only.

After an hour an a half.

Strain the liquid, squeeze as much as you can out of the pulp and then compost it.

Guava liquid. It is currently on the stove boiling, join me for making jam pt. 2, in which I disclose my recipe and talk about boiling jars.
Jars! That’s what I’m doing on a Friday night.

About kellymarietheartist

I am an artist who, up until recently, was living and exhibiting within Toowoomba and the greater Granite Belt district. I have since packed up and left Australia, and am currently living and working in England. My work engages the craft involved in handmaking within a contemporary art context. I am drawn to the physicality of repetitive textile processes, and this is transcribed though the tactile quality of my forms. In particular, processes such as crochet, sewing and rug making serve as a proxy for growth within my personal environment. Many of my works imitate situations in nature, and they form organically as I create each individual piece, each addition both a continuation and re-enforcement of its predecessors. I enjoy using recycled materials for many of my works. Using crochet and other textile techniques to do this is an important part of my work as it celebrates a tradition of craft that has historically been relegated to 'women's work', with all the negative connotations that entails.
This entry was posted in Foraging, How-to, Preserves, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A how-to on making jam

  1. Melita says:

    I can't wait to see this recipe. I have been making jam of late but unfortunately I can admit to being one of those hipsters who buy the overpriced fruit. I shall have to plant some trees or keep my eyes peeled!

  2. I'll invite you on my next mission. Save all your jars with the pop-up lids. Citrus season soon…do you like…marmalade?

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