There’s been some degree of performance anxiety in the house since the great marrow jam disaster of August 09.
We made a minor error of judgement when we told the whole, sorry, sloppy tale to the mother in law. Having triggered a nostalgic memory for jams of old she’s been threatening ever since to pull down her preserving pot and demonstrate culinary majesty over the humble squash.
Of course I am just too stubborn to roll over and admit that I’m plain useless in the conserve department. Instead of looking forward to a xmas present of beautifully presented preserves, I’ve been hoarding marrows for a future jam off. Not wanting to play my cards too early, they’ve been sitting in the veg rack going musky while I’ve been researching alternative routes to beautifully set jam, courtesy of Mrs Beeton.
Today we got to find out how the mother in law did with her entry into the challenge.
Courgettes are obviously quite popular in her house. By the time she came to prepare them, most had already been roasted and stuffed and the recipe needed to be halved. By the time the peeling, chopping and reckoning had been done it needed to be halved yet again.
Sugar, courgette and lemon were left to marinade overnight just as I had done a couple of months earlier. The veg was then boiled and potted and left overnight.
Having just disposed of our runny mass of lumpy syrup, Lynn knew to cut straight to the chase with her line of questioning: “Did it set?”
Did it set?
It was like flipping concrete.
Apparently Sheila (said mother in law) couldn’t make an impact on the concrete and unable to remove it from the jar she ended up throwing the whole thing away. The pan took her 2 days to scrub clean and that was after spending the previous 3 days trying to rub away the remains of burnt beetroot.
Maybe now I can relax and consign the flaccid marrow to the compost bin, pride intact.