Jam & Chutney Recipe Exchange Nights
A Chutney Recipe Exchange night took place on Wednesday 3
October 2007 at Cafe Kino, with music from
Sera, Eirlys Rhiannon & poetry from
Celebrate the abundance of the season, and get ready to savour the glutful
flavours for months to come. Bring copies of favourite recipes, books to share for the evening, samples
for tasting and as much curiosity as you dare...
Jam Recipe Exchange
The first Recipe Exchange night took place at Cafe Kino on Thursday
26 July 2007.
Revel in the joyful fruitfulness of the
summer - and get ready to bottle it up for the winter!
Some kind comments about the Jam night:
"Really enjoyed the Jam evening at the Cafe last week - and tasting
your blackberry & apple sort-of-sauce." - JB
"Thanks again for the jam evening! I loved everything, especially
the sublime music from the Dearlings and you, especially 'Red Riding
Hood'. I'm looking forward to the chutney evening." - EJ
"I am frankly delighted and honored! Thank you for including my
song in your website and for the link as well. Keep on making that
jam!" - Michelle Shocked
Why the Recipe Exchange Nights began...
One friend says her jam won't set, another says she's made glue.
Everyone has a "my mum made..." or "my gran made..." story. But
here in the noughties gender roles are rightfully blurred and most
of the the best fruit-preservers I know are blokes. So I ask them
for their recipes to supplement my family heirlooms, and discover:
this is fun. Let's get together to exchange recipes and tips, put
make an evening of it... put on some music... It sounds simple.
That's because it IS simple. It's simply DIY, simply learning,
simply having a laugh, simply enjoyable and simply delicious.
As fruit and vegetables are flown in from around the world,
heating up the globe and confusing our seasonal senses, there is
something deliciously revolutionary - and yet comfortingly domestic
- about preserving. The tedious ritual of scrubbing labels off jars
is rewarded by how snug the jars look on the shelf in autumn. It's
like throwing out an anchor to the tides of the earth. So what if
summer is short, washed out or too hot? (Ok, so it was definitely
the former this year.) Open the jar of plums or blackberries in
February and inhale the scent - proud nostalgia washes in: that
was my summer. Roll on spring.
So pull those jam jars out of the recycling and set off foraging
for wild ingredients. You have nothing to lose but your storage space.
Eirlys Rhiannon, Summer 2007
Strawberry Jam - the song by Michelle
Introduction: Ms Shocked wrote this song as a
metaphor (I think) for the musical kind of jam. I wrote another
verse for it which related to Easton - where I live in Bristol,
UK - and was even more literally about the fruit kind of jam. Also,
Michelle had some US-centred words which were lost on me, so I replaced
them with references to Tesco.
People started to request "the allotment jam song" as an encore
at gigs, and when Rowan and I had a CD launch gig, although this
song wasn't on the CD, we made a little feature of it - one reviewer
was particularly taken: "They finished their first set with this
number and then gave out home-made jam and cakes to the audience.
I'm hoping this will start a trend among among other bands."
Now, I could get a bit miffed that we're remembered more for
Michelle's song than for any of our own material, but you might say...
well, you might say... that I'd brought it on myself. Suffice
it to say, it's a damn fine song and a good singalong, too.
Lyrics in blue are those which I re-wrote. For more info on the
lady herself, go to www.michelleshocked.com
by Michelle Shocked
Saturday mornin' found me itchin
to get on over to my grandma's kitchen
where those sweetest little berries were cookin' up right
Gonna put 'em in a canning jar, and seal 'em up tight:
We'll be makin jam, Strawberry Jam
If you want the best jam in the land
you've got to make your own.
Now we've got Sainsbury's and Tesco, and
But there's a nasty aftertaste, and it makes me blue
A little local motion is all that we need
to close down that goddamn corporate jam factory.
We'll be makin jam...
Down at Gordon Road those plums need pickin'
All along Chelsea those old pans are sticking
Down the cycle path folks have got out their bags:
it's a big juice spree for those blackberries
We'll be makin jam...
There's a little revolution sweepin the land
Copyright words and music: Michelle Shocked www.michelleshocked.com
Once more everybody's makin homemade jam
You call up your friends on the telephone
You invite 'em all over: make some jam of your own
You'll be makin jam...