The Family Tree of a Jam Pan

A jam pan for making jam

Today, 7 August 2023, I made five pots of Strawberry Jam in the Jam Pan. My young man grows fruit at the allotment but don’t worry if you don’t do the same. Strawberries are cheap to buy this time of year. In fact, I had to augment our home-grown with a few shop-bought ones. I can only do Jam when the toy boy is out at the golf course, as being a former Head Chef, he has a kitchen fetish, and is inclined to clear up behind me – whilst I am still at it.

I think the first person to make jam in the Jam Pan was my auntie, Pem, (Unsworth, nee Honour, 1895 – 1979) but for all I know she inherited the skill as a child from her grannie, Susan (Honour, nee Waddup, 1823-1908) who lived with them. Pem grew fruit and veg in her garden in Hampshire which, not having a fridge she jammed, bottled, and pickled. When she said her time was up, she passed the Pan to her eldest niece-in-law, Eunice (Trevatt, nee Morgan, 1927-2005) for similar use. As for me I was not exactly a domestic creature. Everybody laughed. (A boy from my youth predicted that I would need to marry a chef. And I did so, but sadly, my friend died before he knew his prophesy came true.) When Eunice was terminally ill, she gave me the Jam Pan saying, “I know Auntie would love you to have it.” Against my better judgement, (and helped by my resident commis, who did the pithing and chopping), I had a go at marmalade. I found it a bit of palaver, and since then have always made jam (strawberry & gooseberry) and jelly from the black, white, and red currants.

A jam pan with two pots of redcurrant jellyMy daughter-in-law, Sheena, (Lindegaard, nee MacGregor, d.o.b. not for public disclosure) has had a stab at making jam in the past. It was blackcurrant, and she called it “Rock Jam”, for reasons that may be obvious, but for all that, the result was extremely promising. The taste was excellent, but with my teeth, or lack of, jelly (no pips) is more or less mandatory for me.  I hope that someday, but not too soon, she will inherit the Pan.

I cannot foresee the Jam Pan being of any use to the next generation, who have been heard to say, “If I want anything, I go to the supermarket and buy it.” Sad. But then I remember, I said something much like it seventy years ago. Though I still rarely cook actual FOOD, I think I’ll give marmalade another go this winter.


For more on my family history see

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