I prefer to cook jams than eat them, but I do have one favourite that I enjoy eating more than cooking. I love my morning toast with marmalade.  The marmalade I like is orange marmalade, and after a couple of weeks of trying other brands I can say (with some authority) that Coles brand is the best.

I do consider myself somewhat of an authority on jam - having been the convenor of the Jam and Pickle Stall at my daughter's school's fete many years ago.  Also I was brought up making jam. I was born in Adelaide, South Australia back in the 1940's, and when we moved to our new home in 1948,  Mum and Dad planted a wonderful range of fruit trees, including orange, lemon, apricot, plum, and peach. 

My sister and I became jam makers during school holidays - we washed and cut the fruit and would stand over the big pot of boiling fruit, stirring until it was ready.  We knew how to check that it was all well, and we knew how our mother sterilised the jars and how she would load the hot finished jam into the jars and seal with cellophane and a rubber band, and we would write on little sticky labels the type of jam and the date it was bottled.

I miss having so much fruit to work with and eat, but then I don't have to work hard during summer to prepare it all either.  When my daughter was at school I happily volunteered to be the jam maker and convenor for their jam and pickle stall and once again I "slaved ovre a hot stove" to product the product for sale.

Occasionally I still do make some jam.  If I have surplus of fruit I will do so.  I have some strawberry jam in the fridge that I made some time ago, and several years ago I made my first Lilly Pilly Jam.  The Lilly Pilly is a tree native to Australia that has copious red or pink berries, but few people know the secret of making such jam.  I love it but it is not sold in fruit shops - you need to know someone who has a tree!!

It is a while since I have made marmalade (orange or citrus jam) and I have found one brand that I like.  I do like to support Dick Smith Foods, and bought their marmalade in my quest to support the Australian market but I don't like the marmalade.  It is darker than my favourite brand and not as tasty.  I also tried the Woolworths brand (don't like it) and IXL low sugar variety. Yuk!!!

I don't like to waste my food, so I will eat through the odd varieties that I have and when gone I will again open my Coles jar of Breakfast Marmalade.   Yum.


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