On crisp autumn Saturday mornings, I potter down to Urmston Market where my son chooses seven sweets from Candy Stripes sweet stall (his reward for a week of unremitting broccoli and lentil bakes) and I may buy flowers or fruit or suchlike. This week I happened upon a new jam stall: Jampers, which sells all manner of imaginative jams including coffee jam, mulled wine jelly and even vodka and cola jam (ideal for those who want to bring a touch of Wetherspoons to their morning toast). I came away with a jar of glitter pink champagne jam as well as some banana jam.
Both were excellent – the banana jam was lovely and firm and tasted of a sunny, far-off paradise while the glitter pink champagne was slightly runny and super sweet and tasted like fairytale castles and sparkly rainbows. Suffice to say, neither of these little jars of joy lasted very long. You can buy jam hampers (including Chrismas jampers and Duvet Day jampers) from the stall on the market on Saturdays or from Jampers’ website.
After this feast I straight away set about turning another Urmston Market purchase – three punnets of strawberries and a lemon from Barnes’ fruit stall – into a batch of home-made jam.
I have been collecting jam-making equipment and paraphernalia for months now (some of it from Vennings – Urmston‘s hidden kitchenware gem on Flixton Road) and hadn’t found the time to do anything with it, but there’s something about a visit to the market that inspires me to try something out of the ordinary. It wasn’t a great moment when I realised I’d forgotten to halve the strawberries but I got past that with the help of my trusty Kenwood and was soon funneling ruby red rivers of jam into shiny new jars. I love a story with a happy ending!
Urmston Market is open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; its Christmas Market event is running on 14th December. The market needs your support: use it and enjoy it!