Berry Nice Thank
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
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
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
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
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.