Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life



Every Sunday, the boys and I go to a local farmers’ market to buy our fresh fruit and vegetables for the week.

As the summer stone fruit season is in full swing, there are boxes upon boxes of delicious apricots, peaches, plums and nectarines on offer.  They all look so tempting, but I don’t buy much because the boys don’t really like eating them.  The preference is kiwifruit, grapes, bananas, apples, pears or pineapple.

This summer, feeling rather left out of buying seasonal fruit, and encouraged by the success of last winter’s chutney-making efforts, I have decided to try making jam.  All the taste of summer fruit, but without the risk of it spoiling before it can get eaten!

Last week, I tried making apricot jam.  It was delicious!!  Further encouraged by that, today I made plum jam. I also decided to stock up and make more bread & butter pickles before the cucumber season finished.

It’s extremely satisfying to see my pantry filling up nicely with homemade jams and chutneys (in my motley collection of re-used jars…).  I may have just found a new interest!  I’m thinking marmalade when the citrus season starts… and what about tamarillo jam?  So many possibilities!  I’d always thought that jam making was a very mysterious process, and that it was complicated and hard to achieve a perfect result.  This is not true!

The youngest boy watched me making the plum jam, testing for the set point, and enjoying naughty spoonfuls of jam-in-the-making while I was at it.  I offered some to him, but after gingerly trying it, he declared that he only liked strawberry jam and the other berry jams I got him from the supermarket.  I decided not to make an issue of it.

After a brief outing this evening, we came home to perfectly set plum jam.  Success!! I snuck some on to fresh, buttered bread and offered it to him as a snack without telling him what was in it.   Within a few minutes there was a patter of feet in the kitchen… “That was yummy!  Can I have another please?”  I said “That was the plum jam you know!”  “I know!  You’ve done a good job” came the cheeky reply.

Perhaps I should make more plum jam next week.  I only have four jars of it in the pantry…

The colour reminds me of the aptly named Damson colourway of the yarn I’m using for Gemma.

She’s coming along nicely.


Author: kiwiyarns

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15 thoughts on “Sundays

  1. Oh – I am SO envious of you. Stone fruit in February. I have another 6 months to wait. Love your jams and that’s a perfect way to keep the season going. Gemma is lovely, too! Kathy

  2. Kids are a Hoot, aren’t they.

  3. Wish you could send me some of your home-made jams. I love jam on toast … and in crepes and on cookies. Hmmm, I guess you can tell I’m a jam fan. Your Gemma is looking so gorgeous. xo

  4. Mmmm, plum jam is my favourite! I’ve tried jam making before though, and couldn’t quite get the hang of it. Way to go you! And I’m glad the boy came around 😉 Cardi’s looking fab btw

  5. That sounds lovely! I’ve made lots of chutneys with my glut of tomatoes this summer – a friend is bringing me plums so I can try my hand at plum jam tomorrow. 🙂 The cardi is also quite gorgeous!!

  6. I think I could go for some homemade jam. If I lived near by, I’d drop in for a taste.

  7. hmm homemade apricot jam.. i think i might have to do that too!

  8. Plum jam sounds amazing! I’d love to be able to can my own vegetables and preserves. And I can’t wait to see Gemma! The pattern looks lovely and the color is beautiful. It looks very soft too! Also, a heads up for you, I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. Check my space for details!


    • Preserving is actually quite simple although I was certainly intimidated by it for a long time – you should give it a go! Thank you for the award. 🙂

  9. Can’t wait for the summer fruit season around here, I love making jam…………but even more I love foraging for the free hedgerow fruits to make bramble jam/jelly, it’s so rewarding to see your pantry fill up with homemade goodies……………….your plum jam looks delicious, lovely plum knitting on the needles too. x

  10. Every thing looks wonderful…as always. I have to long to wait for all the lovely fruit to be here. I have seen it mentioned before in various places and as I am among friends I am gong to own up to not knowing and ask; what are bread and butter pickles and how are they made please?

    • Bread & butter pickles are basically sliced cucumber and onion pickled in a sweet vinegar and spice brine. They’re extremely easy to do – you slice up a couple of telegraph cucumbers and onions and salt them. Leave them to drain for about three hours. Then you boil up a mixture of sugar, white wine vinegar and various spices, rinse the vegetables, put the vegetables into sterilised jars and pour over the pickling solution. Leave for a couple of weeks to mature, and then eat! Recipes differ, but that is essentially how they are made. According to what I have read, they’re called “bread & butter” because during the Depression they were as regular a part of the diet as bread and butter.

  11. Your jams and pickles look great! I can’t wait for summer fruits here. I’ve been thinking of trying canning too. Enjoy!