Berry Nice Thank You
July is a feast for food lovers with fresh and seasonal produce practically bouncing off market stalls. Fresh fish is in abundance from salmon and mullet to the much loved mackerel. Mackerel is such a cheap fish and bursting with flavour. For a perfect summer dish try roasting a few mackerel fillets with some Irish tomatoes (you may not have ripe ones at home yet but you can buy good home grown in some shops), drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with garlic. A dish like this, served with some new potatoes will give you the best of everything home-grown that Ireland has to offer.
For desert the market stalls selling summer berries are enjoying long queues. Blueberries have become a popular choice for growers as they suit some of our boggy land and are in big demand as a healthy and tasty snack. Strawberries are a fruit folk never tire of and the adundance of blackcurrants, redcurrants, gooseberries and rhubarb can lead to only one thing, jam making.
You don’t need to put aside a whole day to make jam. If you come across a berry bush on a country walk just help yourself and enjoy the fruits. You can quickly make one jar of jam in a small pot with no fuss. Make sure everything you use is squeaky clean by sterilising jars and lids in either the dish washer, a pot of boiling water or in the oven.
One large pot of blackcurrant jam
Though they are easy to pick, the fiddliest thing about blackcurrants is all the little stalks. You can freeze the berries with the stalks on and then simply shake them off afterwards, saving you a lot of effort. This recipe is so straightforward and the quantities can be simply multiplied to make more.
You will need
Put everything into a spotlessly clean pot and slowly bring to a boil, in the mean time place a saucer in the freezer and have your pot or pots sterilizing
After about 15 minutes the jam should be ready. To test it, drop a small amount onto the cold saucer and push it with your finger, if it crinkles, it is ready
Pour the jam into the warm jars, not cold or they will crack, put the lids on and leave to cool.
If the jam is stored correctly it will keep for months or longer and nothing makes for a better breakfast than juicy jam all over hot buttered toast.