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Two days ago I discovered punnets of strawberries for 69 cents each at our local fruit shop. I brought six punnets and two lemons in order to make jam the next day. Lovely fresh, cheap jam free of artifical colours, preservatives or flavors.

In the mean time Cohen ate one punnet, Dave took another punnet to work and I realised that all my jam jars were packed. Nor did I have any kitchen scales. Not a worry, thought I, having seen retro looking kitchen scales for $20 at the local hardward shop and preserving jars at the local grocery store. Scales secured I went to get the jars, only to find out that they has been 'deleted' and were no longer in stock. They had sold the small and large jars off at $1 each, but sadly I was a few days too late. I drove across town to another grocery store to no avail.

Concerned that my strawberries were not going to become jam after all, I wandered into 'Crazy Clarks' and there I found these sweet little jars at $1.40 each. I brought eight of them and took them home. In the excitement of hardware, grocery and variety shops Cohen had fallen asleep. I put him to bed, lugged all my jars and scales into the house, turned on some music and got to jam making.

And ta-dah! Two and a bit jars of perfect strawberry jam.

Which, when you count in the cost of the strawberries, the scales, the jars, the sugar and the lemons, my nice cheap jam suddenly cost $37.82. But we need not tell my husband this, as surely buying the scales and jars do not count, not to mention the petrol and time... instead I like to think that it was really only the fruit, sugar and lemons alone, thus this perfect jam cost about $4.20 all up. After all, the jars and scales are reusable, right?

High on my jam making success, I'm on the look out for anything else that I can preserve. Suggestions?

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Jam made using a combination of this recipe and the recipe in the latest issue of 'Frankie'.

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