When it comes to tea there is no better accompaniment than homemade scones and jam so when Carol of Food Adventure invited me to their summer jam making class I gladly accepted. I always really enjoy making preserves for Christmas gifts but I’ve just followed recipes from cook books or online. I knew learning in person from someone as talented as Angharad Underwood of The Preservation Society would mean I’d learn the kind of tips that can only be learnt in person.
Upon arriving I was welcomed with a delicious fruity drink and flapjacks while we all introduced ourselves and learnt a little about Food Adventure and The Preservation Society.
Food Adventure is run by Carol and Mark Adams and is now in it’s second year. Carol and Mark have been blogging about the Welsh food scene for a number of years and started Food Adventure to share their passion for Welsh food and Welsh food producers with others. They only work with the finest producers and eateries with local, seasonal and sustainable food underlying all they do. They offer a variety of different adventures including cooking classes, foraging and farm visits and can also organise bespoke tours for birthdays, corporate events and hen and stag dos.
Angharad started The Preservation Society in 2011 and has won multiple awards including True Taste, Great Taste and World Marmalade Awards. She supplies prestigious places such as The Hardwick and The Whitebrook restaurants. My favourite of Angahard’s products that I’ve tried is her Candied Jalapeños for which Humble by Nature now grow the jalapeños.
After introductions we got down to making jam. The class is only open to four people as it is held in Angharad’s home in Chepstow. This means everyone has plenty of working space and that Angahard can give her full attention to everyone.
Everything was included so all I needed to bring was myself. The class was a celebration of strawberries and rhubarb. First we made a strawberry jam using a WI recipe.
Then we made a more technical rhubarb jam following a Christine Feber recipe.
We learnt how to tell when the jam is at setting point, how to jar it up properly among other useful tips. I’ve since used what I’ve learnt to make a cherry jam and I have gooseberry jam planned next.
After we finished our jams we indulged in an afternoon tea made up of finger sandwiches, our jams on Mark’s homemade scones and some Ceylon and Assam teas from the South Wales based Waterloo Tea. It was a lovely end to the day and meant we could all appreciate our hard work together.
It was a lovely end to the day and meant we could all appreciate our hard work together.
I’d highly recommend attending one of Food Adventure’s classes with the Preservation Society. It’s perfect for all skills levels. You don’t need any experience as you learn as you go. Even if you are very experienced you will still pick up ideas and handy tips that will only improve your preserves. They are holding two Christmas Preserves Classes on the weekend of 12/13 of November which would be perfect if you want to make Christmas gifts or just make preserves for your own Christmas dinner table. I want to try one of Food Adventures foraging classes next. It would be wonderful to make some preserves from foraged food.