Designer of the Month
Anna's Kitchen – Jams, chutneys, herb and chilli jellies
I make jams chutneys, herb and chilli jellies.
My making goes back over 40 years to when I had a young family. In my job I had been involved in researching nutrition and development, so was keen to feed my family as natural a diet as possible.
Eventually, as the boy’s left home, I had a surplus of my preserves and started selling to friends,
Then an opportunity came along to have a stall at a local Christmas Fair – I sold out !!! I started to think there was maybe something here for me to provide to the wider community.
A friend introduced me to Kent Loves at the start of their venue, and I’ve been a happy contributor to this gem of a shop since.
KISS, is my catchphrase, Keep It Simple Sweetheart. Starting with the raw ingredients I then add only the bare necessities to whatever produce I’m making. Jam for instance, will have the fruit and sugar. Nothing else, this keeps the flavour pronounced with no nasty chemicals to unbalance our body systems.
I make everything in my kitchen, which has been awarded the FSA 5* certificate, I use mainly old and tested processes, although I really enjoy researching new ways of producing the best tasting preserves I can.
I particularly enjoy working in the shop and at a couple of markets I do, as this gives me a chance to meet customers and discuss what preserve goes best with what they want to eat it with. For instance, Ginger & Lemon jam is a match made in heaven with Somerset Brie, Plum Chutney with Stilton or Rosemary & Garlic jelly is a great condiment with lamb, but equally good mixed with wine to make a marinade or a teaspoon in with roast vegetables.
The raw ingredients I source locally as much as possible, in fact the plums, cherries, pears apples damsons gooseberries and greengages all come from an orchard less than 3 miles away from my kitchen. Seasonal cooking is my way of doing things so when Seville oranges appear in January its all a bit frantic, I made 250 jars last year and they all went. Not everything can be local, but then I use local farm shops or independent food stores, so as to support local businesses and keep the carbon footprint to a minimum.
All my packaging, jars, labels and hampers can either be re-cycled or are biodegradable, I think in these days if we want to continue enjoying the planets produce we need to be kind in what we choose to put back into it.
Finally, two very important facts
Firstly, I love a challenge and whenever I’ve been asked for a produce I don’t make, that’s it I’m off and I make it – so give a challenge and see if you can beat me.
Secondly, and most importantly, although it’s good to hear the back story of ANNA’S KITCHEN and it’s good to know your eating as well as you can, everything I make is there to be enjoyed and that will only happen when it TASTES GOOD.