Marrow Jam

Today's Veg Box

I’ve been coveting the great round marrow for at least a month, collating assorted round marrow recipes and gathering together the necessary ingredients for marrow jam.

I’ve never tried marrow jam but my Dad informs me that it’s “evocative” and the whole notion made the kids squeal with such horror that I just had to make it.

So the other evening I gathered every knife, saw and axe in the vicinity and set too with courgetty gusto.

I fought valiantly over the first slither but as it fell out onto the chopping board my crest was fallen. Deep orange fleshiness, indicative of a marrow impersonating pumpkin, threatened to scupper my child tormenting breakfast preserve plans.

I remained slumped for a while as the kids hooted and hollered but then I began to perk up some. I had a whole sack of squashy wonders that were earmarked for unsuspecting neighbours and surely a yellow courgette and patty pan jam would be at least as “evocative” as the absent marrow.

Most of the marrow jam recipes available on t’interweb require between 6 and 9lbs of deseeded and peeled squash. That’s way more torment than I required so I began to modify and combine the available combinations and techniques. This could very easily have been my undoing.

I warn all potential jam makers to skim read any recipe like instructions that slip into this post.
Do not repeat.

I started following the methodology from allotment.org.uk, chopping the squash up smallish and covering with a kg of special jam making sugar (complete with pectin) before leaving to do something over night in the fridge.

They came out pretty wet.

I then switched over to bbcgoodfood and continued with the latter stages of their instructions. This involved bagging up lemons carcasses, pips and peel in muslin and boiling away with the sugar and squash mix.

I got called away for an emergency Ikea visitation which delayed the boiling bit for a few hours but I wacked it up high on our return and let it bubble furiously in attempt to turn the courgette chunks mushy. The sugar appeared to caramelise under the assault but the courgettes remained unscathed.

By this point I’d been cooking the jam on and off for 20 hours and I was getting a bit desperate. The gloop wasn’t even remotely interested in setting and the internet suggested I may have destroyed the pectin in the special sugar by over heating. Curses!

I bottled it up regardless and it now sits in the fridge, taunting the children.

Marrow Jam

Two days later it still hasn’t set.
The yellow courgette slices spin happily in a golden yellow amniotic fluid, I think it is taunting me.

I can report that the taste is pretty good actually. Very marmaladey. A sharp gingery lemoness, that is really quite appealing. I may have another go soon but in the meantime I need to concentrate on getting rid of the pumpkin.

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Many Hands

Summer holidays have been decidedly child oriented this year, so you have to grab your allotment opportunities when you can.

Despite having two car loads full of soggy and tired teenagers I managed to persuade them that my plot was the perfect stop off before heading on to our barbeque destination.
That’s a tricky sale but they were all remarkably enthused by the whole experience. They rushed around discovering weird bin lid sized squashes, picking rhubarb and scavenging for sweetcorn. I was particularly happy with the potato picking extravaganza. I remember that as a childhood joy and loved sharing it.

Potato Excitement

It’s a shame we had to rush off, I actually had to pull youfs away from weeding my beetroot – what a waste of labour!

We went back this weekend without the gang of helpers and had to pick the remaining spuds alone.

IMG_0756

The King Edwards seemed to do the best, all the others suffered with quite extensive scab. What causes that?

All my tomato plants have been ripped out now, the blight got them really badly but strangely it doesn’t appear to have spread to the spuds. I whipped them out nonetheless, it’s not going to be long.

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