What do Crustaceans and Strawberry Jam have in common?

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It was such  a horrible week.  I’d  had flu followed by bronchitis and really felt run down.  So when John suggested we go shopping at Borough Market followed by lunch at Wright Brothers my spirits soared and my body regained some  life.

 

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I had been wanting to go to Borough Market for some time as my store cupboard was getting very low on homemade jams.  I had made a lot in the summer months  when there was a glut of fruit   but most of this has now gone after being given away to friends. 

 

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I must be one of the very few women who actually hate shopping but Borough Market is an exception. I love the hustle and  bustle and its unique atmosphere.  The market, which  has been at the heart of the local community since the 13th century,  is an exceptional source of both British and international produce. 

 

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Some people consider Borough Market to be very  expensive but, if you go at the right time on a Saturday, there are definitely bargains to be had.  When we arrived we walked around looking at prices of fruit being displayed on the various stalls, but we didn’t buy any. The trick is to go back again later in the afternoon  when the stallholders reduce their prices in a bid to get rid of their stock. 

 

1-DSCF0028We had booked a  table  in advance at Wright Brothers Oyster and Porter House, very necessary particularly on a Saturday. We had dined their many times before and, as always, we  were made to feel very welcome by the staff when we arrivedThe front and outside  of the restaurant consists of a series of wooden barrels where people can have a drink or sit  while waiting for a table in the restaurant.  The interior of the restaurant  consists of high stools arranged around the L shaped bar and high tables in the centre. Because I  now have problems getting up onto high stools they  had thankfully  reserved a normal table for us. 

 

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John being such a seafood lover couldn’t make up his mind what to order., so much to choose from. . Finally he decided on the Petit Fruits de Mer from the main menu.  This consisted of a selection  of  oysters, mussels, prawns, brown shrimps, and clams. 

 

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I chose the Lobster Linguine from the specials menu.  This was absolutely delicious and contained chunks of lobster in a bisque type sauce. I could still taste the flavours in my mouth many hours later.

 

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To accompany our meal  we chose a bottle of  Languedoc Viognier Sauvignon Bertier 2013. This was a delicious wine  with  a hint of lemon zest  and peaches.

 

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A couple of hours later, after a superb lunch, we left the restaurant  and crossed over the road back  into the market, Surprise, surprise, the trick had worked, they were now selling 5 large punnets of English strawberries for £2.50.

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My strawberry jam recipe requires small strawberries as they are immersed whole in the jam syrup.  A drinking straw can be used to remove  the pith from the strawberries.
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Whole Strawberry Jam with  Kirsch
Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs small strawberries (pitted)
  • 2 lbs preserving sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of Kirsch
  • Juice  of 2 lemons
  • Small knob of butter

Method:

  • In a bowl layer the strawberries with the sugar and add the lemon juice.  Cover with cling film and leave overnight in the fridge, stirring now and again.
  • The following day put the contents of the bowl into a preserving pan,  Heat on a very low light until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  • Bring to a fast rolling boil until setting point has been reached. Remove from the heat.
  • Skim and add a small knob of butter .  Add the Kirsch and stir thoroughly.  Leave to stand for 10 minutes
  • Put into hot sterilised jars, seal  and label.

 

This jam is excellent with home-made scones straight from the oven

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