Old Stones and Light

This week I ran, with Meopham & Malling Ladies Joggers, from Trosley Country Park to the Coldrum Stones and back to the Park's Bluebell CafĂ© for hot chocolate and a Bacon, Brie & Cranberry Sandwich. The bread was so fresh and pillowy it reminded me of clouds - the kind of surface you'd like to fall asleep on... if it wasn't filled with bacon and cheese. 

Coldrum is a 3,000 year old burial chamber, or Long Barrow, and its name is derived from the old Cornish word, 'Galdrum', which means 'place of enchantments'. And appropriately for an enchanted place there's a wishing or prayer tree here that visitors tie strips of cloth, or 'clooties', to. We can guess at the intentions - prayers for healing and forgiveness, personal and universal wishes, or simply to honour those buried on the site. 

At the beginning of December a colleague's mother died. A week ago a friend's father died. I tied my ribbon and thought of peace: the type you want a grieving heart to find, and the more complex peace we all wish the world could agree on. 

Hungry Writing Prompt
Write about where you might find peace.

Soon it'll be the close of one year and the beginning of another. What else can we wish each other? Light, perhaps. So here's my recipe for Mango and Ginger Jam, which is less jam and more thick fruit spread as the recipe doesn't call for too much sugar. It's summer in a jar, on a spoon, or spread on toast. It's sings with heat and light. And I wish you all a good song, heat and light, in your hearts and your lives. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Mango and Ginger Jam

what you need:
  • the chopped fruit of 9 peeled mangoes
  • about 4" of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 lb of sugar
  • 1 cup of water

what you do:
  • Cook the mango and ginger in a large saucepan for about 30 minutes.
  • Add the sugar and water, allow the sugar to dissolve slowly, then bring to a steady boil and let it bubble until it reaches a setting point. Mine took about 15 to 20 minutes to arrive at the right kind of consistency. I also kept stirring it regularly so it didn't catch and burn as sweet, sugared fruit easily can.
  • Pour into clean glass jars and close the lids tightly. 

Note: I don't have much success setting jams with a thermometer so I rely on the 'cold saucer in the fridge'method: after about 10 minutes put a teaspoon on the saucer then check it after a couple more minutes. If the surface of the jam wrinkles slightly to the drag of your fingertip then it's set. 

But don't stress about it. If your jam still isn't set the next day - and swinging rather loosely in your jars - just tip it all back into the saucepan and boil it up again.