We're just entering into the 'grow your own' season, and our rhubarb plants in the garden are flourishing and the apple tree is in full bloom. Up on the allotment we're growing raspberries and strawberries, and this year have introduced gooseberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants, so I'm hoping for a bumper fruit crop this year.
Unfortunately, once the fruit is picked, it doesn't have a very long shelf life, so much of ours goes into the freezer to use at a later date. I've recently been sent a Ball automatic jam & jelly maker so this year I intend to make some of the excess fruit into jams and jellies to keep us stocked up throughout the year. The advantage of making your own jam is that you know exactly what has gone into it. It might not be cheap to buy all the fruit, but if you grow your own it's a great way to use some up when you're inundated.
The jam and jelly maker comes with an instruction booklet, as well as a recipe book to get you started. The maker does all the stirring and cooking, and all you have to do is weigh the ingredients, and you'll have fresh jam ready for preserving in under 30 minutes! I haven't yet tried my machine out as I'm still waiting for my rhubarb to grow a little more, but if you hop over & see Becca at Amuse your Bouche you will see how incredibly easy it is to make Kiwi & Lime Jam (you can also try and win a machine over there too!)
The guys at Ball have been very generous, and as well as letting me have a machine, they are giving one away to one of my lucky readers. To enter you just need to complete the Rafflecopter widget below.
Don't forget to come back here over the summer to see how I get on with my jam making. In the meantime you can check out some great jam recipes on my Pinterest board below: