After months of concocting and capturing long-suffering neighbours for testing sessions I finally started listening to those loyal tasters who suggested/demanded I sell these preserves. So in February 2013 I set up a stall at Tasmania’s Evandale Market with Triple Lemon Marmalade, Cherry Velvet jam, a Pear & Walnut preserve, and a vibrant Chilli Plum Jelly. Since then Landfall Farm Fresh in Balfour Street, Launceston, Tasmania has started stocking a selection, including some exclusive to them, and I’ve jaunted to the Campbell Town Show with a personal best of eight types of marmalade.
Inhaling all those sugar fumes, stirring a batch of caramel apple for three songs, scrubbing out the cauldron when things go very wrong… experimenting with a bargain box of pears or pulling over on the side of the road to raid a rogue apple tree; I can’t decide if JAM-making keeps me out of mischief or in. I do know there’s something very satisfying in barely seeing the kitchen bench under a stack of 125 jars lined up according to the colour of the contents.
Some ingredients are foraged, others bartered, and some grown myself, like the cayenne peppers. Also rhubarb to put in just about everything. Where possible I like to include the ingredient location on the label as well as the variety. Packham Pear from Hillwood versus Beurre Bosc from Dilston, for instance, and as much as possible the ingredients are from Tasmania.