Go on a course:
SUMMER JAMS & JELLIES
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A COURSE IN A BUCOLIC SETTING, you’ll find it hard to top the Riverford Field Kitchen in south Devon. Down the road from Totnes, it’s surrounded on all sides by glorious hills and the ploughed fields that supply the Riverford organic vegetable box scheme. It’s the kind of scenery that inspires you to make the most of nature’s bounty – which was exactly what I was there to do. Having collected boxes of the first currants and berries of the year, grown just a few fields away, my fellow course attendees and I took our places behind our own gas hobs. Under the watchful eye of Pam ‘the jam’ Corbin, who was previously the preserves expert at River Cottage, and fellow course leader Liz Neville, it wasn’t long before our bubbling jam pans were sending aromatic steam swirling towards the rafters. During the day we tackled jellies, jams and cordials, both the traditional and reduced sugar versions, made from strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, taking a break in the middle for a delicious organic lunch. By hometime, we all had stained fingers, heads full of practical tips and more jars than we could carry.
One day, 9.30am-3pm, £110, Riverford Field Kitchen, Wash Barn, Buckfastleigh, Devon (fieldkitchen.riverford.co.uk).
THREE MORE TO TRY…
FOR ARTISAN JAM The Old Smithy, Oakham, Rutland; from £85 for one day (rosiemakesjam.com). As part of a small class, you’ll turn an assortment of fresh fruit into delicious jam. There’s a tasty lunch made with locally sourced ingredients, too.
FOR ALL THE FAMILY West Craigie Farm, South Queensferry; Kids Fun Class, £10 (craigies.co.uk). Following a tractor tour to hand-pick their fruit, children will return to the Sinclairs’ farm to make a jar of jam to take away.
FOR A TASTE OF SUMMER The School of Artisan Food, Welbeck, Nottinghamshire; from £165 for one day (schoolofartisanfood.org). Make a number of tasty treats, from apricot and amaretto jam to chilli tomato chutney.