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Make it Monday! Jam from Gloria Nicol

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Even though making jams and chutneys is an all year round activity, preparing them as Christmas gifts can be particularly enjoyable. If you are a person who thinks ahead, you will already have some jars of chutney, well mellowed and matured, sitting in the larder. If you are a last minute merchant, you will need to rustle some up using what is fresh and in season, cranberries and clementines for example, or employ dried fruits, such as apricots, figs and dates as your leading ingredient. As these already have strong associations with the season, it then comes down to semantics in the labelling; jewelled apricot chutney, figgy jam, three kings pickle, you get the idea... How you present your preserves is the really important part. Seasoned jam makers will already save any interesting jar that comes their way throughout the year for this purpose. The smartest preserves come in vintage French jars, if you can find them or bear to part with them. The empty jars can be re-used later for serving jam as well as to display flowers or a tea light candle. But even the simplest classic jam jar can look really special with a fabric cover over the lid, tied around with some twine or ribbon and a hand written tag. 

Hand embroider your own greeting on the top or cut up a vintage embroidered doily for a quicker result. Remember to include information such as 'best eaten before..' and 'leave to mature for…weeks before eating', if your chutney has only just had time to cool in the jar! T: 01594 840563, www.thelaundr y.co.uk


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