Tea at Tympani Lane Records

World Message of Peace

The quiet of a Spring day in Montreal at Tea at Tympani Lane Records. I have been published in the Inspired Heart Anthology Edition 3, big thanks to MCI press for this. I have been taking photos for the cover of Harlequins and Angels and poetry is writing . . .


"I would love to go and live in the mountains . . . and make jam."
- Eve Best (Actress)

With the coming of Summer and fresh produce down at the Market, it is a great time to pick up sales on fruit and berries. When the produce is on sale you can buy in larger volumes and make jam or preserves, a taste of Summer for the winter months. Wild berries are great for this as they can be much more flavourful than the domesticated varieties. It is also possible to visit farms and pick-your-own berries or fruit, which may be at less cost.

There are 2 schools of thought on jam, some people love the heavy sugar hard jelly of jam made with pectin (Certo). An alternative to this is fruit preserves made with much less sugar, some lemon juice and used as a spread on toast or in your favourite desserts. Because of the less sugar preserves may be better for your health and are very easy to prepare.

This writer prefers marmalade in hard jelly form but all other fruit jams as preserves, I like the less sugar, fruit spread. With preserves it may be possible to experiment by substituting lemon with lime or orange (the zest and juice).

The bottles and tops of jars are sterilized by placing them, open mouth down in a strainer at the bottom of a pot with just enough water to come up to the strainer. Then the lid is put on the pot and the water boils sterilizing the jars and lids. When removing the jars and lids from the pot it is important not to touch the inside of lids or bottles. In a traditional kitchen, wax is melted in a pan and poured about a half inch thick over the tops of the jam in jars. When it has cooled and the wax hardened the tops are put on and then the jam can be stored in the cupboard. An alternative way is to not put the wax tops on and just store the jars of jam in the refrigerator but they may not last as long without spoiling (maybe 3 months or longer).

Strawberry Preserves

May substitute almost any fruit or berry for strawberries.

3 cups of strawberries

2 cups of sugar

1 large lemon (zest and juice)

Place sugar and lemon in a pot and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Mash half the berries with a masher. Combine with other berries. Add to lemon syrup mixture and cook for 20 minutes. Bring to a boil and cook until a small amount of the juice gels on a very cold plate. Let cool. Fill sterilized jars.

The Oracle’s Variation: may substitute lemon with lime or orange.

This is a traditional recipe for marmalade from my Grandmother’s family (also featured in The Grandmother Chronicles: my grandmother’s recipes).

Amber Marmalade

1 (lb) grapefruit

1 (lb) orange

2 (lb) lemons


10 cups water

12 cups sugar

Let ground fruit and water stand overnight. Next day boil for 1 hour. Let stand overnight again. Then add 10 cups sugar and let come to full rolling boil, then test and leave about one hour. (The test is for soft-ball hardening on a cold plate).

Happy Summer Cooking!



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