The beaming smile
spreads its wings
in rays of sunshine,
as it flies through
a ring of darkness.
from the antics
of the clown.
Once again I delved into the past and went to see a matinee performance of ‘Motown the musical’ at Sunderland Empire Theatre. One of the first singles I bought was ‘My Guy’ by Mary Wells, so I’ve enjoyed Motown music for many years. I was interested in the story of how Berry Gordy started Tamla Motown, and yes it was interesting. The actor performing him had a good voice but he was surpassed by the performers who were ‘Stevie Wonder’ complete with beaded dreadlocks and a young ‘Michael Jackson’ as a member of the Jackson Five. As for the rest, they played their parts well enough and with great enthusiasm. Of course, the songs were great but diminished by the orchestration which made the songs lose their unique sound– there was none of the ‘driving bass lines’ that made Motown music incomparable. I think that this show has all the elements to make it great, but the orchestra needs replacing with something more like ‘Motown’.
A few days ago I bought a punnet of nectarines (13 for 50p) but soon their skin began to wrinkle and I thought I couldn’t eat all of them before they became to inedible so a friend suggested I made some jam with them. Well, I’ve never done that before and I can’t be bothered with fancy or time consuming recipes. I only want something quick and very simple. So I found the one below. After making the jam I tried it on a piece of toast. ‘Yes’, I thought, ‘mild, a bit like strawberry.’ So, that’s another string to my bow. LOL!!
Nectarine jam recipe.
The following weight ratios can be used for any combination of fruit.
6 fruit (de-stoned weight 236g)
Sugar 80% of the fruit weight (188g)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Cut up fruit and remove stones. Ensure the fruit pieces are small (mine were too big so I reduced them with a blender).
Mix the sugar and lemon juice into the fruit.
Leave the mixture for a least one hour but overnight is better, to allow the sugar to draw out the juice.
Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
Boil the jam until it reaches its setting point. This can be tested by taking a spoonful and holding it vertically. If some of it sticks, it’s ready; if runs off completely continue to cook. The other way to test is by using a thermometer and reading a temperature of 105C.
Once you think the jam can set, let it cool and put it into your containers.