Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Keith's Jams

As always, food was one of the highlights of the trip to Jervis Bay. The towns of Vincentia where we stayed and Huskisson where the water activities are based, are small and sleepy. We ate at a Mexican restaurant on the first night at Vincentia and thereafter decided that we should buy groceries and make dinner ourselves. Dinner on the second night was lamb chops, which was M's specialty. My contribution was the vermicelli in pesto sauce, a basic stir-in attempt but the basil/cashew/Parmesan pesto made the difference. The lamb chops were yummy.

At Huskisson, we chanced upon a house with its front porch basically converted into a little, charming shop, with jars and jars of homemade jams and chutneys on shelves along the front of the house. This was the quaintest shop I've seen in a long time. Keith, the owner has been making his jams and chutneys for the last 15 years. There were lots of delicious-sounding jams, things like filyphilly and quince.

I chose a mulberry and apple jam but was a bit hesitant to get more because the jams were in all sorts of recycled jam jars, all non-standard of course and I doubt if they were vacuum-sealed in the bottles. We weren't quite sure about the bottling and hygiene standards, but there were some regular customers who had dropped in to restock their jams and return their empty bottles, so that was somewhat a reassuring sign. The others had no faith and left empty-handed. We tried the jam with ice-cream when we got back and it was delicious. I made pancakes for brekkie the next morning and we had it with the jam as well.

We could see and taste the whole mulberries and apple shreds and after breakfast, fully convinced that the jams were not only delicious, but also met our health and safety standards as well, we made our way back to Keith's shop and bought up a whole lot more after perusing the shelves and spending a long time deliberating which jams to get. I ended up with a blueberry and peach jam, a tomato chutney, a melon and passionfruit jam, a marmalade and passionfruit jam and a melon and ginger jam. And the others bought a bunch of unusual jams as well.

This was a gem of a find, a highlight of the trip!

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