A taste of nostalgia……
When it comes to jams, chutneys and preserves we are spoilt for choice in Dorset. Whether it is smothering a scone with delicious fruity strawberry jam or adding a tasty chutney on top of creamy cheese these tasty bites are part of our heritage.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tina and talking to her about her love for creating nostalgic home cooked jams, chutneys and pickles; a nostalgic love that inspired her and her family to create Jurassic Cottage Foods…….
What is the story behind setting up Jurassic Cottage Foods?
Our passion for nostalgic foods begin with our mothers and grandmothers, planting the seeds in our minds on how traditional cooking can be so inspiring and absolutely delicious without having to use complicated recipes with long lists of ingredients. Good solid recipes using great fresh ingredients, cooked well, how could anyone possibly go wrong. These seeds have always influenced us and the foods we make, eat and love. Our kitchen is always a place of joy, great aromas and something always happening with all the family, friends and visitors well fed and watered.
Our personal interests have always looked backwards into history. Immense sacrifice, suffering and hardships in the past have led to the best of our national character and pride showing through. Food and drink has always brought people together, perhaps never more so than from and including the Victorian period, with some fantastic regional variations and specialities to be found.
After much encouragement from family and friends we decided to try selling some products at a local farmers market in December 2012. A surprising level of acceptance and enthusiasm met us and we now attend many events across the south of England from village fetes, farmer’s markets to large agricultural and vintage events and a few things in between. Meeting so many people face to face at events is always a pleasure and so much fun. To know that so many people also enjoy and support our passion for high quality nostalgic food and drink helps to inspire us in our journey through nostalgia.
In line with many people during the wars and other trying times ,we forage certain items from the wild. Some of the results are Nettle Cordial, Wild Garlic Concentrate and Blackberry Jam to name a few . We also grow as much as time allows ourselves to help our stock of top quality organic fruit and vegetables.
What produce do you make?
We produce old fashioned jams, chutneys and pickles. Homemade cordials, being traditional lemonade and nettle cordial. We also produce a fresh range of pies, quiches, pasties, cakes, sausage rolls, biscuits and sweets. At some events we supply hot food, being a traditional roast in a roll and at Christmas time produce mulled wine (with homemade spice bags) and roast chestnuts.
Can you tell us about the process of making one of your preserves?
We pick all our blackberries from the Purbecks. Once picked, we take them home and check through for bugs and wash thoroughly then leave in a colander to drain.
Once drained put into a jam pan together with a little lemon juice and let simmer on a low heat until all the juices are running from the blackberries and the fruit itself is soft. Once at this stage add the sugar. (Weight of sugar equal to weight if fruit) When the sugar has dissolved turn up the heat and boil rapidly until setting point is reached. We always test the old fashioned way of a saucer in the fridge. Put a drop on the saucer (which has been in the fridge) and put in the fridge for a couple of minutes. If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger then it is ready to jar, if not carry on boiling until this point is reached. Take off the heat and pour into sterilised jars and seal.
What are your 5 top selling items?
Always Wild Garlic Concentrate (when available)
Dorset Apple Cake
Caramelised Onion Chutney
Runner Bean Chutney (when available)
Where can customers find your products?
We have an online shop at www.jurassiccottagefoods.co.uk. You can contact us via email for fresh and jarred ranges email@example.com. Also on our website is an event page which shows you the events we are attending; the next event we will be at is Holnest Country Fayre Saturday 23rd to Sunday 24th September. A number of our chutneys are stocked in Balsons, Bridport.