Thursday 2 September 2010

Happy Four Years Married Day

I have snapped the photos from our wedding album but the original photos are taken by Joanne Grant

Yay, it's our happy four years married day! In true Friendly Cottage fashion, we are spending it apart. As with all anniversaries, bar one so far, Marty is in London with work. He'll be hanging out with a bunch of blokes. I'm home alone (I'm so going to light the fire tonight...the boy hasn't let me yet!). We've got used to it at this stage so it's fine. Besides, it gives a little more time to scramble for a card and gift!

So the traditional gift for four years of marriage is fruit or flowers apparently. The modern gift is appliances. Eh, no thanks anyhow, we'll stick with tradition on this one. As a fruit gift, I'm going to make Marty some Strawberry & Champagne Jam. A week before our wedding, the very dutiful bridesmaids and I stirred a huge cauldron of strawberries and sugar to make hundreds of pots of this jam as gifts for the guests. The champagne didn't quite make it into the pot, hic, and the jam didn't quite have long enough to cook as a result, hic. It was a little more suited to drizzling over things rather than spreading in the end. Still, we produced a beautiful tasting preserve all the same. Here's what should have happened...

Marty & Sharon's Wexford Strawberry & Champagne Wedding Preserve

You will need plenty of jam jars and lids. I especially love when they are mismatched in different shapes and sizes. Sterilise the jars by rinsing in hot water and then popping in an oven heated to 140C for about half an hour. Alternatively, rinse them through a dishwasher on a hot cycle without the washing tablet. I love decorating the jars once the jam is all potted up. Use fun fabrics or oilcloth, ribbon, twine or raffia. Print or hand make labels or tags. Keep all to yourself or give as gifts. By the way, if you'd rather drink the champagne while you stir the pot then just don't bother putting it in!

Makes about 1.5kg

1 kg jam strawberries, washed and hulled
1 kg jam sugar
1 glass of champagne (or other sparkling wine)
finely grated zest & juice of 1 lemon

- Place the strawberries in a large pan and crush them lightly with a potato masher. 
- Add the jam sugar, champagne and lemon zest and juice.
- Bring slowly to the boil, stirring to help dissolve the sugar.
- Bubble away for 8-10 minutes, skimming away any impurities that come to the surface.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly before potting.