I have good intentions regarding spring cleaning but they never actually amount to very much. Autumn is a different matter - the run up to Christmas is such a big thing in retail that over the years I've developed a real need to feel organised in good time, part of that is a desire to clear the decks of all the past years accumulated crap, another part is settling down to making things ready for Christmas. I know it's only October but now is the time for jam and jelly making - and I've made a lot of it. It's also turned into a big week for baking...
Work asked me to make a cake for the shop's second birthday on Friday - a cake - there are about 150 of us and although not everyone will be around at cake time one was never going to be enough which I maybe ought to have thought of before I said yes. In the end I made four cakes, two got sandwiched together to make a giant chocolate cake, there is a carrot cake because it's my favourite and that's what matters after a couple of hours baking, and a lemon layer cake which tried to escape from it's pan but was just about rescued... Because I was in the kitchen all day and the oven was on I also made jam, some scones for afternoon tea with the Scottish one, roasted a pheasant to share with the blond, and made some Brownies as well. She had to stop me from making short bread too - by that time I was on a roll and didn't want to stop.
It was, by my standards, a lot to get through in one day, normally my Kitchen would look like a bomb site at this point, but happily the blond took charge and wouldn't let me leave the washing up, she also put everything away so I really do feel organised today which is wonderful (it won't last).
The jam is particularly exciting - it's the Fig and Pomegranate from 'Salt Sugar Smoke' which I've wanted to make since I first opened the book. I think I'll call it Persephone jam though, partly as an homage to Persephone books reaching their 100th title, and partly because the generally Greek and Autumnal feel of figs and pomegranates make it appropriate - mostly though it's because I struggle to spell pomegranate (I try to put in another 'm', spell check changes it to permanganate which baffles me, and the whole thing becomes very stressful) Persephone I'm fine with.
This is a lovely jam and absolutely worth making, figs in supermarkets are fiendishly expensive but I managed to buy well over a kilo of them for £3 from my local market. It was the end of the day and they were going cheap, normal price is four for a pound which is still considerably cheaper than the supermarket rate, so it's worth shopping around as 400g is roughly nine to ten figs.