May 2014 we had a gathering from Uncles and Aunts at Large for a workshop on making jam - regular cooked jam and freezer jams. It was wonderful to have some young men cooking with the group. I think we have at least one budding chef in the group as I watched him taste different jams, roll them around in his mouth and then listened as he explained how different flavours were experienced in different parts of his palate. I LOVE this part - to see the learning happen so personally for participants.
It is also so fun to see how different people can work from the same selection of fruits but each create very different products. The first batch for everyone is pretty safe and a variation of 'red jam'. Then with the next batch, they have tasted what others have done and are each ready to experiment more boldly - adding new spices and using fruits in different combinations. I am sure if they had time for the 3rd or 4th batch they would be rivalling our products.
This photo is the group at the end of the session when everyone was still friends - then the bartering started. People were trading some of their treasures for a jar from everyone else - making sure they each went home with a taste of the best of the day.