I’m always at my happiest over a hot stove, and my first memory of making jam was probably about 15 years ago or so, when we were living in Switzerland.

I was struggling to think of a suitable gift for my step-grandmother – a woman who had the means to afford all luxuries, yet who placed great value on the simple things in life and who breakfasted with my pleasure every day. Then the idea of an apricot and vanilla jam came to me, the plan was hatched, and the gift was so well received that she asked me to bring some along each time we visited.

Since then, I occasionally delved into the realms of jam and chutney making, but it was 3 Christmases ago, when things become more ‘serious’. I had decided that all our friends would receive either a chutney or jam, depending on their preference for sweet or savoury. I drew immense pleasure from making and giving them, and from the feedback that I got in return, it sounded like my friends were happy to be on the receiving end of them too.

This past Christmas, I made about 60 pots – a 5-citrus spread, an apple pie jam, as well as the ubiquitous tomato chutney. The apple pie jam proved to be a real winner – I wanted something spicy yet seasonal, and made a spread from 2 types of apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and clove. I labeled it as turning ‘your breakfast toast into apple pie’ and the response was heartwarmingly positive.

Around the same time, a little seed of an idea was sown, and I am now bringing this idea to fruition. A friend of mine has kindly offered me a share of his stall at a local farmer’s market come May, and there seem to be a couple more potential opportunities opening up. Could this be the start of something very sweet (and spreadable??)

Ideas for flavours are coming thick and fast, jars have been ordered and delivered, and now it’s a matter of finding a logo, getting stickers printed, paper bags made and then comes creation! I am soooooo excited!!