Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In the slow lane

I'm not talking about my driving even though I am the type of driver who generally uses the slow lane, I'm talking about how I am feeling generally. I am a blood donor and on my most recent visit, I was unable to donate due to low iron levels which would go someway to explaining my lack of energy of late. The low iron levels also meant a trip to the doctor, my first since Hope was born 11 years ago (I really am quite healthy) and no surprise, more blood tests done. Now it is just a waiting game and I am due back to discuss the results next Wednesday though I have been assured that it isn't too urgent. Which isn't reassuring at all. In the mean time, I am doing what I do, slower and with a lot less enthusiasm.
Today I made Rosella Jam. Making jam is very much a slow food process especially if you grow the fruit first. On this occasion, I did not grow the fruit. I got to chatting with someone from Grafton about their rosella flowers (my plants didn't enjoy the conditons here this summer) and next thing, I am in possession of a rather large bag of rosella. I don't need any for tea right now and these were luscious and just perfect for jam making. The eight finger limes I walked away with too were even more of a highlight.
Most of the jams I make are simple fruit jams that don't require too much more than the fruit and some sugar. Rosella jam does take a bit longer than say blackberry jam but it does have a slight tartness to it that is pleasant and is definitely worth the effort. It is also a jam that you won't find everywhere perhaps only at market stalls or in more gourmet stores. I'm fairly sure it isn't available on your regular supermarket shelf.

Rosella Jam
To make the jam, the first step is to wash the fruit in cold water.
Then separate the calyx and the seed pod.

The red fleshy part of the fruit is the calyx and can be peeled away from the green seed pods. The seed pods go into a saucepan and are covered with water and simmered for about 10-15 minutes until translucent and soft. This releases some pectin to help set the actual jam.
The strained liquid from the seed pods is pored into a saucepan with the calyces and simmered until they are very soft. Measure the pulp and add sugar on a 1:1 ratio. That is 1 cup of sugar for every cup of pulp.
Stir the sugar pulp mixture over a low heat until the sugar dissolves and then bring to the boil. Allow to boil until the mixture reaches setting point.
To test for setting point, chill a saucer in the freezer and then when the jam has been boiling for about 10 minutes, place a teaspoon of the jam on the saucer. After it cools, push your finger through the jam and if it makes a clean line throught the jam, it is most likely set. (Although what is happening is very much a result of science and chemical reactions, home jam making is definitely no science and there isn't any guarantee that what happens in one kitchen will work in another).
Once the jam has reached setting point, bottle it into hot sterilised jars and seal.
Make some scones, whip some cream and enjoy.
Creamed honey is next on my slow food to do list.


Cross Stitch Crazy Mum said...

That's some gorgeous jam :) My inlaws love growing and making jam out of thentoo. They are so easy to grow

Kimmie said...

Rosella Jam is lick ya lips delish.
Yours looks great!

11 years? Women's wellness checks?

Have my fingers crossed for a good result for you.

Much love.


Vickie said...

Oh no hugs to you wow 11 years and no needing a Dr you are my hero...I so wish..anyways I do pray that the results come back ok..please take care of you..yum yum to the Jam ..oh I so remember years ago going to country markets and hunting out the home made jams and pickles..So did you make soem scones and enjoy???cheeers Vickie

Liz Beavis said...

Looks yum! Hope you feel better soon... I'm still waiting for my rosellas to flower, I might miss out too :(

Cathy H said...

Hi Tracy....your jam looks delicious......always wondered how Rosella jam was made......looking forward to reading about creamed honey.......

Lisa said...

Well Tracy, I hope you're well and nothing's amiss.

I was ready to write you a letter today - I wasn't able to view your AWOL post - blogger told me I needed an invitation. I waited a few days to see if you'd mistakenly done it. Today I was determined to write - I think I'll do it anyway! Expect a letter from me! :)

Jeanette said...

I do hope you are ok. Love Rosella jam(i don't think it would taste nice shop bought even if you could get it) & creamed honey. I tried to go on your blog to get your email as i'd accidently deleted the email i had from you so i could let you know that the pumpkin seeds & beeswax arrived & to say thankyou But when i tried it told me i didn't have permission. Glad to see this post so i could say Thankyou. Hugs,xx.

africanaussie said...

I am glad that you fixed up the permission thing on your blog too! Sorry you are feeling tired and slow. Hope the bloodwork results are able to get you right again. My rosellas have not flowered this year either - I wonder what it is.

trishie said...

That's some beautiful jam. I had to google rosella to find out what it is!

Becky said...

Looks and sounds delicious!

Paola said...

Hi Tracy - hope you are doing well, and that the news from the medicos is ok.

Fiona said...

great to read you again... and I hope your health gets up again soon... it does help to know why you have been feeling poorly.... I love rosella jam and made it for the first time last year... such an unusual fruit/flower...

Joyfulhomemaker said...

I love autumn its my favourite time of the year