‘Just Jam and Jerusalem’. Women’s interests are often trivialised in such phrases but my jam-making days are an important part of my life.
Stirring the bubbling jam evokes memories of my mum and granny who were prolific and expert jam-makers and who taught me how to catch that illusive setting point.
Jam-making is the culmination of a year of tending the fruit canes and bushes, of cutting back, watering, tying-in, tending and finally picking the bursting fruits. It reflects what Southsea Green is about – pure, unadulterated food; although I do worry about the amount of sugar I add to the pan.
Adulterated food is nothing new. Sylvia Pankhurst was concerned about the huge quantities of ‘raspberry’ jam being commercially produced using turnips or rhubarb.
Women working in terrible conditions making wooden ‘pips’ to add to the ‘raspberry’ jam to make it look like the real thing.
An angry Mrs Pankhurst set up her own factory making jam from real fruit at affordable prices to create decent jobs for women – my kind of woman.