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Thoughts from September 2008

we jamming

Seeing as the hedgerows are full of good stuff right now, there couldn't be a better time to make yourself a few pots of homemade jam.

Hedgerow

However, if you're a jam novice, our very own jam expert, Erica, has some simple tips for making the perfect blackberry jam.

First things first.

Wrap up warm and find something to put your berries in before you leave the house (like a fetching wicker baskest or a clean tupperware box)

Pick_some_berries_2

Then locate your nearest local hedgerow, complete with an abundant supply of blackberries (no pilfering off your neighbours' allotment, mind)

Select_the_finest_2

Watching out for thorns, carefully select the finest berries for your basket/box.

The ripest, juiciest fruit will be the berries that come off easily. If you have to tug or twist too hard, they're probably not quite ready so you'll need to leave them for another day.

Berry related injuries and stained hands are all par for the jam making course and will make your jam taste that extra bit sweeter. Apparently.

Berry_injuries_3

Once you've picked a decent bounty (roughly about 2lbs or 4 extremely generous handfuls), take your fruit home and give it a good wash in a colander.

Weigh your berries and then weigh out exactly the same amount of caster sugar.

Pop the berries and sugar into a large saucepan and add a good squeeze of lemon juice.

Lemon_01

It's really important you remember to do this bit as it's the natural pectin in the lemon that makes your jam jammy. Otherwise you'll just end up with runny blackberry juice and rather soggy toast.

Bring everything to the boil, stirring constantly, and continue to boil for about 10 minutes.

Hot_2

To check if your jam is ready, just add a small blob of the mixture onto a cold plate. It should look like jam straight away.

The_jam_test_2

When you're happy with your jam consistency, spoon it into sterilised jam jars, seal with a sterilised lid and remember to write the date you made it on a fancy label.

Jamtastic

To get the maximum toast coverage out of your jam once it's opened, make sure to keep it in the fridge.

And for those of you who don't like pips in your jam, just heat the blackberries up on their own with a teaspoon of water till they're mushy. Then pop the fruit through a sieve to remove the seeds and just follow the steps above.

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what did you think?

Vegpot

Have you had a chance to try our new veg pots yet?

It’s the first time we’ve made things with veg so we’d love to know what you think of them. Any feedback you have on the specific recipes would be welcomed with open arms so that we can make them the best little veg pots they can be.

- Do you like our veg pots? Are they useful? Is there anything we could do to make them better?

- When do you eat them? Home or office? On their own or with something?

- What did you think of the specific recipe you tried? 10 out of 10 brilliant, or 0 out of 10 disastrous? How could it be better?

Just in case...we want as many people as possible to enjoy our veg pots. So we're now working on some vegan options as well after taking on your feedback from when we first introduced our veg pots to you.

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hippy pins

I found a whole sweet jar full of these badges in a brilliant secondhand furniture store in San Francisco recently, so brought a few back for our creative team here.

Hippy_pins

According to the man in the shop, everyone in San Fran used to wear them back in the sixties and some people had trouble doing up their fringed jackets on account of the amount of pins they were wearing.

Looking forward to seeing how they go down in West London, 2008.

Especially the red and white ones.

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it's autumn

Autumn

It's now officially autumn in our books, sunny but cooler days, conkers, peckish squirrels, golden leaves and our new damsons, blackberries & apples smoothies for autumn.

To celebrate their limited return we're going to be embracing autumn and all that it represents with a special autumnal bit of our blog. So get ready for sepia hues, foraging, freshly baked fruit pies, conker tips and Sunday afternoon walks galore.

Huzzah.


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mike's mane

Yesterday we got bored so we stuck pencils in Mike's hair.

Mikes_hair_and_gez_leaving_001

Turns out you can get quite a few pencils in Mike's hair. Dan in the background there seems positively rooted to the spot with amazement.

First person to correctly guess the number of pencils we managed to jam into his lego man haircut will win a case of our smoothies.

Only one guess each now. We'll be announcing the winner on Wednesday.

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