Have you ever thought of making your own jam? You know it is very easy and if you buy in bulk like I did, very economic. As I am in Sydney for the next few months, we decided to venture out to the Flemington Markets. I went with a friend of mine from Sydney College of Arts and we had a wonderful time. It’s like another country out there. My friend Pamela likes to go at closing time on a Saturday when the place goes crazy trying to sell off the last of the produce. After we parked we walked through the secondhand market. On the ground people had laid out all sorts of things others have discarded. It reminded me of Uganda, the way people take other people’s rubbish and still find some value in it. You could find furniture, tools, books, and anything else you can think of. Pamela picked up a set of lawn bowls for free.
Then we set off into the fruit and vegetable area. It was madness. Vendors yelling out their specials and people everywhere. I saw a woman with a big bunch of something that I had never seen before so I walked over and asked her what she did with it and what it was called (please excuse the quality of the photo).
It was called Mulukhiyah. There are many ways of spelling this vegetable and it’s an ancient plant that’s full of goodness. This lady was kind enough to explain that she cooks it with chicken or with olive oil and onion, garlic and a little fresh tomato. Her daughter translated for me. Of course I bought some and carried it through the markets like an enormous bunch of flowers. Funny thing was that when the Lebanese ladies saw me carrying the Mulukhiyah they stopped and asked me what I did with it! I cooked it up that night and it was delicious.
We were very lucky to pick up some amazing bargains. I bought two kilos of lovely small purple plums for four dollars. After I had eaten as many as I could, I made the rest into plum jam.
I add cinnamon just to add extra taste and I’d like to share my recipe with you.
Plum Jam with Cinnamon
2 kg plums, quartered and stones removed
250 ml (1 cup) water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cinnamon quill
½ kg caster sugar
Place plums, water and lemon juice in a large heavy-based saucepan on medium heat and add cinnamon quill. Bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes, or until fruit is soft.
Meanwhile, warm sugar either by placing sugar in a heatproof bowl in the oven, or in the microwave. Add the sugar to the stewed fruit and stir well until sugar dissolves.
Remove cinnamon quill.
Increase heat and cook, stirring often for 15–20 minutes.
To check if jam has reached setting point, place 1 teaspoon of mixture on to a chilled plate. Tip the plate; if the jam runs, cook for a further 5 minutes, then try again. Pour into sterilized jars while still hot.
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