Samurai Freezer Jam

by Adrian July. 08, 2009 1703 views

Went to my favourite supermarket (Waitrose) yesterday, and happened to notice punnets of strawberries short dated going for 10p each. Needless to say a fair number fell into the basket ;)

We decided that we should make some jam with some of them. This time we went with a freezer jam recipe [certo.co.uk]. Freezer jam is similar to conventional jam, but you store it in the freezer, and you don't heat it at all. Not heating it means that the flavours should remain closer to that of the original fruit. Raspberries are better than strawberries in this context, as the flavour of strawberries changes more when they're frozen.

You may be wondering why there are full jars of Sainsbury's Basic Jam in the shot. Simple, it's the cheapest way to get jam jars. Bizarre, but what can you do. I could buy some nice preserving jars from Robert Dyas, at £2.49 each, or jars of Sainsbury's Jam at £0.38 each. Since the entire fruit cost was £0.20 the nice jars seemed a little extravagant ;)

The surprising part is that I don't think the Sainsbury's jam is bad, it has a nice texture and tastes reasonably fruity for the price. Is it the best jam in the world? No. Is it good value? Yes, I think so. I didn't expect to like it at all.

So there's the irony for you, buying jam in a jar is cheaper than buying an empty jar… Which brings me to:

Things that grind my gears #2: Self service checkouts. In theory they're great, but the way Sainsbury's and Tesco have implemented them (they appear to use the same system) makes them so annoying to use that it's a wonder we don't hear “Unexpected Homicide in bagging area” more often ;) The main problem is that they expect things to be in certain places, and refuse to do anything if they aren't. For example, we're encouraged to use reusable (as opposed to disposable) carrier bags, great, I'm all for it; but… What happens when you try and use your reusable bag at a self service checkout? The machine yells “Unexpected item in bagging area”, and it refuses to let you check any groceries until you remove the unexpected item (namely your bag). This wouldn't be a major issue except that it also expects you to put the groceries into the bag that's in the bagging area, and if you don't you get “Unexpected item removal” and another steadfast refusal to do anything. Don't get me started on the long conveyor version of the self-service checkouts. Not only do you get the wonders above, but you aren't allowed to put stuff into your bag as you check it through for that reason, they're not so bad if there are two of you, but an epic fail if you're trying to shop alone. So, Tesco and Sainsbury's: 0/10. FAIL!

Macerated strawberries with sugar

The raw ingredient: Strawberries. Nearly free, thankyou Waitrose!

Oooh, the marketing weasels were on fire that day!

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