All About Jams And Preserves

The subtlety of the difference between jams and preserves is lost on many of us. While jam alludes to a mix of preserved mashed fruit and sugar, boiled together, mostly in equal proportions, the word preserves would mean the same thing, except for the fact that the fruit here may be cut whole or in chunks. While jam may have a finer texture to it, preserves may have a more chunky consistency. In jams, the pectin content of the fruit has an inexorable role to play; fruits with high protein have a higher pectin content that will help to set automatically when boiled, while the lower protein fruits may need an external infusion of pectin.



The idea of adding sweeteners to fruits for preserving their longevity seems to have its origins in the Middle East where natural sugar cane grew in abundance. The crusaders, returning from the Holy Wars, brought the preserves to Europe, from where it spread to the new world. The colonies started making them in the late 1700s, probably a century before the founding of the United States of America

Making Jams and Preserves

Follow some of the tips below to make jams and preserves at home.

Wash the fruits, and get rid of the cores and stems and peel fruits like peaches and pears, but not berries and cherries. Mash the fruits if you intend making jam, but use larger chunks for preserves.

Making in small quantities will facilitate easy cooking and ensure a better preservation of flavour and colour.

At home, add 3 cups of sugar to every 4 cups of fruit, and you will have a manageable batch. You can improvise with recipes.

Add one or 2 tablespoons of sugar to thicken the jam or preserve made from exceptionally sweet or ripe fruit

To avoid scorching, and to retain the taste while boiling the mixture of fruit and sugar, stir the mixture constantly for about 15-45 minutes

Your jam or preserve is ready to jar when a spoon of the concoction taken in the preparation holds its shape even after a minute.

The processing time recommended for hot packed jams in a half pint or full pint jar varies with your altitude; 5-10-15 minutes for corresponding altitudes of 0 to 1000 feet, 1000 to 6000feet and over 6000 feet above sea level.

Cover your jam or preserve with a piece of cloth over the jar and fasten it tightly with a round fabric that has a diameter in excess of 2 inches of the jar mouth.


Organic Jams and Preserves

Notwithstanding the delicious and healthy nature of any organic jam or preserve, most of these organic producers are unable to meet the exacting standards for sweetness set by the American Food and Drug Administration, and accordingly, circumvent the problem by re-christening the product as a conserve or spread, to preclude it from falling under the aegis of inspection. (476 w)

The Amazing Health Benefits of Jams and Preserves

Taste apart, did you know that eating delicious jams and preserves contributes in no small measure to positive, healthy and nutritious benefits to your mind and body? One main reason is that fruits have naturally low levels of calories, fat and sodium that are more than made up by their rich content of Vitamin C, dietary fibre, Potassium and folic acid.

Find out more about Jam and Preserve making equipment

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World of Flavours

Mexican food has got to be pretty much my favourite food I think. The spices, the textures, salty tortillas mixed with cooling fresh vegetables, I love it!

And if you are going to have a Mexican night at yours, this tableware set is pretty much perfect. The bright colours remind me of the beautiful markets I visited when I was younger, full of energy and life. I especially love the little taco holder, it’s so much fun and you can fill up your plate to the brim!

Here are my favourite items from the World of Flavours collection. Check out the link for more items in the range.

Mexican Four Piece Ceramic Dip Serving Set £16.82

Ceramic Taco Holder £10.12
Mexican Cast Iron Fajita Sizzler £19.86


Mexican Ceramic Tortilla Warmer/Shallow Casserole £23.76


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Marina Cool Bags

I love these nautical style travel food bags from the new Marina range! Perfect for days out by the sea. Different sizes for carrying loads of delicious treats on days out, from a simple snack to a full on BBQ.


1 // Marina Snack Cool Bag £8.65
2 // Marina: Collapsible Cool Basket £29.50
3 // Marina Medium Cool Bag £16.80

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New Collection

Blue and white kitchens are always so classic. I love clean striped dish towels and classic country ceramics, so when I saw this new Farmhouse Pantry collection I thought this is perfect for me.


From milk jugs to storage containers, these few pieces below are my favourite. I think these would look perfect for the summer season, and brighten up any counter top or backyard breakfast table.


1 .. Farmhouse Pantry Ceramic Flour Shaker £4.69
2 .. Farmhouse Pantry Milk Jug £4.47
3 .. Farmhouse Pantry Spice Jar Set of Six £22.31
4 .. Farmhouse Pantry Butter Dish £9.42

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Gifts for the Gardener

If your father is always out in the garden digging then these gift ideas would be perfect for you. Reward all his hard work in the dirt with some beautiful gardening equipment, helping to bring the fresh foods from the garden to the kitchen table!

I love the rustic country feel to these items, especially the gorgeous wooden apple store, and you always need some wine after a long day in the garden so this bottle carrier is perfect.


1 .. Sussex Trug: Clay £17.65
2 .. Egg Baskets: Clay £14.45
3 .. Apple Store: 4 Drawer £115.45
4 .. Vegetable and Flower Seed Stores £13.35
5 .. Herb Pots: Set of 3, Shutter Blue £16.95
6 .. Kneelo: Cornflower £13.45
7 .. Bottle Holders: 2 Bottle, Cream £15.35
8 .. Sophie Conran Trowel £14.50
9 .. Large Compost Bucket: Slate £28.50

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Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day can be a tricky one sometimes, but if you stick with what works, and keep things simple, you will find a gift your Father will surely appreciate. My go-to is always something beer/BBQ related, but of course it depends on your Dad and his interests.

Check out my picks below, classic yet masculine. Let your dad have some relaxation time this year, even though he is always master of the grill in our house.


1 .. 5 Piece Barbecue Set in Case £38.51
2 .. The Ultimate Lager Glass £13.99
3 .. Holkham Barbecue £38.50
4 .. An Enthusiast’s Guide to Homebrew Beers £15.99
5 .. Chunky Boards: Medium, Acacia £26.70

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Dress it up!

Today I am inspired by Jamie Oliver, so I cracked out my copy of his Food Revolution book and remembered his great ‘Jam Jar Dressings’.


Above images via

Summer season means salads in my kitchen, but none of those plain oil and vinegar dressings will do for me. So check out below four of his delicious recipes via I just love knowing exactly what ingredients are going into my dressings. My favourite is the yoghurt dressing, as it tastes creamy but light, perfect for crisp romaine lettuce and crunchy cucumbers with chopped herbs.

French dressing:
Peel and finely chop ¼ of a clove of garlic • Put the garlic, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar and 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • Put the lid on the jar and shake well

Yoghurt dressing: 
Put 1/3 cup of natural yoghurt, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • Put the lid on the jar and shake well

Lemon dressing: 
Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon • Put the lid on the jar and shake well

Balsamic dressing: 
Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • Put the lid on the jar and shake well

To make your own dressing at home all you need a simple jam jar. But if you want to make it even easier why not check out these shakers complete with recipes right on the side!


1 .. Salad Shaker Flask £10.65
2 .. Glass Salad Dressing Drizzler £8.25
3 .. Electric Salad Dressing Emulsifier £8.64
4 .. Acrylic Salad Dressing Shaker £6.50

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Think Pink!

Blossoms are blooming everywhere I look, spring has definitely and fully arrived. With spring comes delicious seasonal veg, a personal favourite of mine being rhubarb! I love these sweet and sour stems, it not for their flavour then their gorgeous pink and green blush.

So inspired by rhubarb I have done a pretty pink post! I hope you enjoy the lovely products from blush to rose to hot pink.


1 // Pink Rhinestone Cocktail Shaker £19.95
2 // Coloured Colanders: Pink £7.46
3 // Pink Peony Stems, pack of 4 £43.66
4 //Le Creuset Large Mugs: Rose £9.96
5 // Strawberry Apron £17.96
6 // Nigella Lawson Butter Dish: Rosebud £16.75
7 // Bristol Cranberry Glasses: Champagne Flute £32.50

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Spring Crunch

Asparagus are in season this month, and to me they always add such a nice crunch and fresh flavour to any spring meal.
I especially love to make asparagus tarts, my go-to recipe for any impromptu weekend brunch. Keep some frozen pastry in your fridge and then just roll it out, top with asparagus and cheese, and maybe some extra bacon, and pop it in the oven. It is so simply, and yet tastes really decadent with the gooey cheese and crisp veg!
Take advantage of what’s in season this month and get some tasty asparagus for this weekend.


As pictured above via BBCGoodFood: Asparagus Cream Pasta, Herby Asparagus and Bacon Tart, Asparagus Mozzarella and Prosciutto Parcels, Roast Tomatoes with Asparagus and Black Olives.

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Weekly Budget – Vegetarian

Another way to cut down on your weekly food shop is to try and incorporate more vegetarian meals into your diet. The cost of good quality meat can be high these days, and so being a bit adventurous with your cooking can really pay off.

Having the right tools in the kitchen always help preparing your meals that much easier, so find some vegetarian recipes and get ready to cook! Check out our recipe library for some quick inspiration.


1 // Homemade Storage Jars: 1000ml £2.42
2 // Vegetable Brush £2.75
3 // Hotstone Grill £34.95
4 // Smart Slice Mandolin with Grater £31.91
5 // Java Preserving Bags: Vegetables £9.50
6 // Asparagus Steamer £34.55
7 // Pasta – Carla Bardi £12.99
8 // Bamboo Steamers: 20cm Three Piece £16.95
9 // Progressive Dice and Pop Cuber £13.75

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