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A little introduction from The Tealady …

Hello, and welcome to my website, a place where passion, tradition, and flavour converge to create something truly special. I am thrilled to share my story with you. This journey has shaped my love for crafting handmade preserves and led me to create The Tealady.

Jam, jelly, marmalade and chutney are all described as preserves. They are the delicate guardians of a fleeting moment in nature's grand tapestry. They capture the essence of ripened fruits and vegetables, infusing them with sugar and spice and sealing them in a jar. But beneath the glistening surface of these jars lies a story that resonates with warmth, nostalgia, and love.

A bit of history ….

As a child, I was immersed in a world of baking and making incredible edibles with my mum and Aunt Gracie. At the top of my kitchen chemistry make list was jam, particularly with Auntie Gracie, whose smallholding was a treasure trove of diverse fruits. In this haven, the art of making jam and chutney was woven into daily life. I vividly recall the days spent gathering and preparing fruits, the kitchen hot and humid from the massive simmering pots, condensation running down the windows, which were eventually flung open in the hope of catching the gentle summer breeze. The anticipation of tasting the freshly filled jar was palpable.

Handmade preserves are more than a topping for morning toast; they are a testament to the preservation of culinary heritage. Passed down through generations, the art of hand-preserving transcends time, culture, and technology. In our 'want it - need it now' world in which we live, making preserves in an open pan the traditional way is a gentle reminder to slow down, savour the process and create something really connecting us to our roots.

My mum's philosophy of leaving orchard fruit stones in jam always makes me smile. She believed that life's pleasures came with a cost, and for her, leaving the stones in was a small price to pay for the sheer delight of savouring her delicious creations. Of course, times have changed, and the philosophy has evolved, but the nostalgia of those moments still resonates.

Now, I'd like to think that my mum perhaps left the stones in for other reasons. In preserving fruit with stones intact, we are gifted other benefits…i.e. the infusion of delicate almond and marzipan notes into the jam. As the fruit simmers gently with the stones, it imparts a subtle complexity and depth of flavour. It is as though the essence of the tree itself is captured, whispering tales of the earth, the sun, and the passing seasons.

Leaving stones in preserves is homage to the earth's wisdom and sustainability. It reminds us that nature is the master of balance; every part of the fruit is a gift, and nothing should be wasted. The stones are often discarded without a second thought. They can be returned to the earth, enriching it and ensuring the circle of life continues.

The why …

As an adult, walking into a hot greenhouse, air heavy with the tangy aroma of tomato plant foliage (touch it, and the smell clings to your hand for hours) ignites memories of my dad and his passion for growing our food, especially tomatoes in his abundant greenhouse. As autumn painted the landscape with its warm hues, we would turn the vivid green and unripe tomatoes into scrumptious chutney. These underappreciated green orbs, often dismissed for their lack of ripeness, are definitely the symphony melody. The addition of well-balanced spicing provides the perfect harmony.

The unripe tomatoes, firm and resolute, soften, yielding to the gentle heat. As they release their juices, they merge with the spices, creating sweet and sour notes. The transformation is remarkable, reminiscent of life's capacity to surprise and delight us when we least expect it. After bottling our green tomato chutney, these wonderful jars, carefully stored, would unveil their magic on Boxing Day, adorning cold meat platters and filling our home with an unmistakable festive spirit, and a reminder of warmer days passed, and yet, still to come.

Beyond the delectable flavours, Boxing Day with homemade preserves and cold meats is about sharing stories and creating memories. Together, the whole household would enjoy a morning walk along deserted lanes and over muddy fields before sitting around the table, re-living the joy of Christmas Day and marvelling at the tapestry of moments that make up a family's history. Laughter rings through the air as anecdotes are told and retold, and new tales take root.

How I came to do what I love ..

Life moved on, and after leaving home, I found myself drawn back to the art of preserving during the first Christmas after my marriage. Inspired by cherished memories, I made strawberry jam as heartfelt gifts. Sadly, my mum had passed away, so my go-to source of jam wisdom was no longer by my side.

I embarked on my first solo jam-making venture armed with a vintage copy of a Good Housekeeping recipe book owned by my husband. Brimming with determination, I poured my heart into crafting that first batch. Bottling, labelling, and storing the jars was a joyful labour of love, and I eagerly anticipated sharing my creation with friends at breakfast on Christmas morning.

Life's paths often lead us to unforeseen destinations, and mine took an unexpected turn in 2016. With newfound time on my hands, I embarked on a journey of exploration and creation. The idea of starting a business was not originally part of the plan, but destiny had other ideas. The Tealady was born out of my love for handcrafted preserves, and it became a vessel to share my creations with the world.

As I stood at the threshold of this new adventure, the excitement bubbled within me like a simmering pot of preserves, ready to burst forth with flavour and potential. Starting my own preserve-making business is not just a venture; it is the culmination of a passion and the unshakable belief that I can create something extraordinarily tasty for people to enjoy.

The journey to this point has been a winding one, filled with lots of learning and some twists and turns. Still, through it all, my love for preserving the bounty of nature and transforming it into delicious jars of goodness has remained unwavering. It captures the essence of the changing seasons, each moment, and each ingredient, preserving it for posterity or until the jar is empty! Truly culinary artistry captured in glass.

The finest handmade preserves … well I think so

Behind every handcrafted jar is a wealth of tradition, knowledge, experience and an unyielding commitment to quality. The chemistry of flavours and the alchemy of ingredients are at the heart of what I do. Understanding the composition of fruits and vegetables, what lies beneath their skins, and how they interact and blend with other elements unlocks the secret to creating preserves that delight the senses.

The craft of handmade preserves extends beyond its delicious taste; it's a commitment to sustainability and mindful consumption. By preserving excess produce, we reduce food waste and honour the resources that go into growing these ingredients. Sourcing and buying from local growers fosters a sense of community, ensuring that age-old traditions can continue to flourish.

The flavours of hand-cut fruit and vegetables cooked in open pans are unmistakable. They are vibrant, nuanced, and deeply satisfying for the producer and the consumer. Each jar holds within it a piece of the maker's heart, a story of seasons and moments. When you spread that spoonful of handcrafted marmalade on your morning toast or jam on the crust of a freshly baked loaf, you are tasting that symphony, which sometimes is complex. Yet, at other times, it is total simplicity. There is a sense of continuity in handmade preserves, a link between past and present, transcending mere sustenance; it becomes a tribute to the enduring power of tradition.

Today, The Tealady is a testament to a journey beginning with powerful childhood memories that flourished into a thriving venture. Each jar tells a story of nostalgia, resilience, and commitment to preserving the best. As you explore The Tealady’s offerings, I hope you can see every jar encapsulates not just flavours but my labour of love and passionate pursuit of excellence for you to enjoy.


Thank you for being a part of this journey and for allowing The Tealady to be a part of your own culinary experiences. Together, let’s savour the sweetness of life, and devour it one delicious jar at a time.

View all of our finest hand made preserves