Connie’s happy helper has made jam since childhood. The first attempt, aged 11, was with a friend as they camped out in her back garden one night, in the long, hot school summer holidays. (Summers past were always longer and hotter – or so it seems once you start work). The hammocks, made of hessian grain sacks slung between trees, weren’t the most comfortable, so distraction was required – no x-Box or PS4 in those days!
A fire was started, raspberries gathered from the garden, and a saucepan, sugar and bread from the kitchen. There were no scales for weighing, and no HACCP for reference should something go wrong.
The result, after much prodding, poking, stirring and, of course giggling (a prerequisite of being a girl aged 11), a delicious, sweet, gloopy liquid that tasted divine on the dipped bread. That night started a lifelong love affair with handmade preserves and pickles culminating, many years later in the Tealady.
We cook seasonally and so sometimes popular jars may sell out until the next growing season. Where fruit and vegetables suit freezing, we do that – so through those cold winter months we are able to enjoy fruit like the tomatoes grown by Daniel at Anema’s, Dereham; apples grown by Andrew at Sandringham Apple Juice and blueberries grown at Fair Green Farm, Middleton along with blackberries handpicked from local hedges far away from people and traffic. We’re also grateful to the band of informal suppliers for bringing us bulging bags and buckets of fresh produce from their orchards, gardens and allotments.
Nuts, gluten and other allergens can be found in our kitchen, but we understand they’re not suitable for everyone. We take great care when cooking up deliciousness in our kitchen to ensure that all our jars are made, filled and stored according to the high, consumer-focused standards set by the Food Standards Agency and enforced through Breckland Council. If something is not as you would expect it to be, please tell us. What you think of our jars is important to us.
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