Mid June I participated in another course at Women Institute (previously courses have been afternoon tea course & Christmas afternoon tea course), this time on Summer Preserves with Vivien Lloyd as tutor. She is a great tutor, who was great in answering my many questions in relations to the many different types of Summer preserves. I was really dragging on her experience to see using your own eyes to see, when the jam has the right consistency for gelling in the jam glass or texture for a chutney. So I have learned to make jam without addition of pectin powder, but using the pectin naturally present in the fruit. However, using the natural present pectin alone from the fruit means, that the sugar content has to be very high to get a gelling.
As usual the atmosphere at the Denman College is fantastic :-) All I meet of the other participants were very open and very friendly, they really wanted to meet new people. Upon arrival I went directly to the bar area after dropping my suitcase in my room, so I could meet all the participants over a cup of tea followed by a glass or two of wine. During the various meals you could easily sit at different tables talking and meeting some new people.
The course price includes staying in a room, all meals, tea breaks, tuition and final all the preserves, which you bake during the stay. So I do not find it to be a very expensive course.
And as usual I combined this course at Denman with some days in London (tea & gin-shopping, visit to Beefeater, afternoon tea and buying some interesting cooking books).
Strawberry and apple jam
Red & black currant jelly
Cordial with herb
Tomato & chilli jam