My retirement in the style of Brexit and the Brexiteers' vision of post Brexit trade have finally come together. In jam. Apple jam and pear jam to be precise. I'm not fond of jam, except occassionally spread thinly, very thinly, on toast. It has too much sugar and I like eating too much to waste calories on fruit flavoured sugar.  Two small pots will last me a year at least. The webmaster doesn't eat any jam. At that rate we've already made enough to last me for the next 40 years (without making a dent in the number of apples) but statistically I don't have 40 years left. Can I leave jam in my will? Does it keep that long? 

We've been considering the options.

Maybe I should try to eat it more quickly, but if I do that I'll almost certainly be reducing the time I have left. What a conundrum! What is the optimum consumption rate so that I finish it all just before it kills me? 

In the spirit of Brexit trade deals we could try selling it, but in the style of Brexit trade deal negotiations we don't meet the necessary regulations so we can't sell it.

We can use it to decorate the shelves for a few years, a symbol of our independence and manufacturing capability, and then throw it away. Not an appealing solution. On the down side it's a waste of money, time and effort. On the plus side it fits in well with the style of Brexit.

We can give it away. The webmaster has decided this is the best option. For our next production run he has bought 72 standard size jam jars. Instead of filling our 1 and 0.5 litre storage jars we'll fill the standard pots and force all our relatives to take them. Christmas presents for everyone and anyone with a birthday from now until they run out.

And then again next year if we get another bumper apple and pear crop.

More to my taste, we also made a few trial jars of pickled apples. The Webmaster had some pickling brine left over after making two jars of pickled runner beans, so we seized the opportunity to try it on the apples. After all if it went wrong we had plenty more apples and a few wouldn't be missed. We ignored all the pickled apple recipes and simply cored, peeled, thinly sliced the apples, filled the sterilised storage jars with the slices, poured over the pickling brine and sealed. Two days later they tasted great. The recipe still has huge amounts of sugar, but I reckon most of it stays with the vinegar in the jar and only a fraction is absorbed into the fruit. I don't know if this is accurate and have no evidence, but I want to believe it and evidence is out of place in anything connected to Brexit decisions. Best just to stick with what I believe and avoid potentially inconvenient facts.

This is the Webmaster's recipe for pickled runner beans.


1.5 kg runner beans, topped, tailed and de-stringed and cut into suitable lengths*

2 litres white distilled vinegar

1kg granulated sugar

500g demerara or dark brown sugar

6-8 mid strength large chillies, cut into thin slices, without seeds

2 tsp Allspice powder

1tbs mustard powder 

1 mulled wine pouch

1 tsp salt


Pour the vinegar into a pan and warm gently to a simmer

Slowly add all the sugar to the vinegar, stirring until completely dissolved. 

Stir in the allspice, mustard powder, salt and chillies. Add the mulled wine pouch 

While keeping the pan on simmer add the prepared beans and continue to simmer until the beans are just tender (6-8 minutes)

Drain the beans and put them into sterilised storage jars. (*We cut our beans into approximately 3cm pieces and tipped them randomly into the jar, alternatively you can cut your beans to fit the jar and pack them virtically)

Discard the mulled wine pouch

Pour the liquid over the beans until they are just covered. Seal and label.

Leave for two weeks before opening.

Once open store in refrigerator and eat within one month.







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