And with super endeavour, here is the end product of the first jamming session. Approached with nervousness at first because I didn't want to ruin the fruit Hubs had recently picked, soon this was overcome as the pot began to bubble.
Meanwhile Hubs was banging away outside, making the pig arbre to replace the one which Tess had seen fit to try and use as an armoured tank.
Not that she intended to make a break through the fence, and I am sure it was an accident that when she was wearing the ex-pig hut that the fence got rammed. You can see the remainder of this hut behind Hubs, who is at this very moment making a brand new arbre for them. Much banging, digging, marching about with vigourous intent, and 'Do you know where ...... is' as he tries to find various tools which are generally scattered about the property. But I think he is learning that if he doesn't put things away after he has used them, then he will have to spend hours trying to locate them again when next he needs them.
Meanwhile: the jamming continued. Oh why do I end up with such a sticky mess? Is it part of the jam making experience?
Last year I was jamming in the kitchen caravan, which produced a really awful amount of stickiness, so in comparison this is not too bad. I thought the towel underneath my working area was a good idea as it stopped some of the stickiness migrating. Must remember to put it in the dirty washing basket and not inadvertently put it back onto the towel rail where it normally resides, ready to assist in drying Hubs off when he has his occasional shower.
Meanwhile: Tess and Max were rumbling about in their pen as Hubs was working beside them, making their new house. They didn't seem to be put off by the bangings and sawings that was going alongside them. Perhaps because Max was intent in having his way with Tess, and she was being sometimes coy sometimes keen sometimes bored. But he did eventually get a home run. Several times, Hubs said. They spent the afternoon snuggled up in the wallow together. And quietness reigned. Since she came here there has been squeals, snorts, growls, grumbles, and grunts going on for much of the time. But it is quieter today. Perhaps because the job of procreation has been done. A bit quick, actually. Piglets next year, was more our intent. Ah well.
And the male ram has been airing his undercarriage as well. Bless.
Returning to the subject of stickiness: it was suggested to me by my French neighbour last year, that I turn the jam pots upside down after putting their cover on them. Obviously my first attempt to do this was unsuccessful! Not to worry, contents were not wasted, just scooped up and put into another jar. Notice to self: make sure the jam pot covers and lids are firmly in place before following through with this suggestion again.
So off out into the Side Field to do some more dock week cutting. Good for my back, good for the fresh air of the early summer morning, good for my ongoing lesson of learning patience.
And homemade jam is a glorious thing to have when the year closes down. Sort of makes one feel connected to the summer sun. It is also good to know where it has come from, and that it has not been mass produced. Taking responsibility for what we eat, that is what smallholding is all about.
Message to self (1): Do try not to keep sampling spoonfuls of the new jam.
Message to self (2): Keep putting that one foot forward each day.
Message to self (3): Smile when you see that very large field still mostly full of dried up seed heads of dock.