We now have a proper farm-gate stall. Lots of people round this way in Suffolk sell fruit and veg that they have grown, as well as eggs from their chickens on a little stall in front of their house. Up until now we have sold produce in our back porch – we will still continue to do so as this is where our campers generally come to use the fridge-freezer and see us. However, a stall will also help us attract passing traffic (not that we have much of that), but it will also make it easier for people in the village to know what we have for sale. James and our friend Pete made the stall from wood and recycled plastic.
Over Easter Nigel helped James add a back and sides to it as weather protection. I now need to add some sun-shading to protect the eggs and veggies and it will be done. See here for what we usually sell.
Here is a recipe for PLUM JAM – we make it from our own plums and sell it until it is all gone which doesn’t take long! Ingredients: a general rule of thumb for jam is equal weight of fruit and sugar – but I use a little less sugar as I like my jam tart – maybe for one kilo of plums 850g of sugar or even a little less – somewhere between 800 and 850g.
Gently cook the plums with a little water. For one kilo maybe about a cup of water (250-ish ml) – it varies – I normally just slosh water in. Once the plums are cooked down a little try and remove the stones. You can stone plums before you cook them, but I freeze mine as soon as they are picked and then make jam in the winter months – stoning frozen plums is too hard. Add the sugar and slowly bring to the boil. Boil vigorously until the jam reaches setting point – use a cooking thermometer (it is usually marked on) or put a saucer in the freezer. When you think the jam is ready put a small spoonful on the frozen saucer. If after a few minutes it wrinkles when pushed with a finger it is ready – if it doesn’t wrinkle boil it some more. To be honest runny jam is not the end of the world anyway. Sterilise jam jars by putting them in a cold oven and bringing the temperature up to 100C and leaving them there for 30 minutes. You can also sterilise them in a dishwasher – I often do both. Put jam in pots, seal with lids (sterilised by having boiling water poured on top of them). Leave to cool and label.
If your jam gets a bit of mould on it, just scoop it off with a spoon and put that bit in the compost – the rest of the jam will be fine. I don’t keep jam in the fridge as I don’t think it is necessary. My grandma used to feed me jam that was years and years old and I am fine! My grandad taught me to make jam when I was very young, making it reminds me of him which is nice.