Christmas preparations…

Preparations for Christmas are under way at weekends when we get a chance! Massive session of making Christmas produce on Saturday as it was a soggy, rainy day when being inside was the best course of action.

Here is Christmas spiced mincemeat being made and the end result – made 2 big batches of it so should see us through the whole of the festive period. If we have had enough of mince pies then we can always make mincemeat cake and use in other recipes too. I will pop up the really easy recipe for this mincemeat soon.

Katy, The Good Life In Practice x

Recipe: Runacres Blackcurrant Jam

First things first, sorry it has been a tad sporadic on the blog post front recently – what with the move, new jobs and general summer things have been hectic and busy! However, my amazing friend Melissa brought round some tasty blackcurrants picked from her garden the other week – yum! She had a glut of them so I was lucky enough to be given a batch of currants! Hence a quick, speedy jam making session before tackling the next thing on the to-do list.

This jam thickens effectively and will keep for a good amount of time in a cold, dark place. Once opened pop in the fridge.

Makes about 4/5 average jam jars worth.


-500g blackcurrants (washed and any stalks taken off)

-680g sugar

-Juice of one lemon

-450ml of cold water


1. Place the blackcurrants and the water in a big pan and simmer the mix for 25 minutes.

2. Add the lemon juice and sugar to the mix, stir until it has dissolved. Increase the heat setting until it boils for approximately 15 minutes or until it has reached setting point (test a bit on a cold saucer to check!).

3. When you are happy with the consistency of the jam, ladle it into your sterilised jam jars and cover with wax discs and lids.

This is tasty on crumpets, as a mix with apple pieces for a crumble and heated then drizzled over vanilla ice cream in summer.

Katy, The Good Life In Practice xx

Lady Marmalade!

Results from the international marmalade awards are out! They had a great event at the Dalemain Marmalade Awards this year in Cumbria. Unfortunately I didn’t make it there but still put 2 entries in by post. They had the record number of entries this year which is fantastic news – preserving is making a comeback!

Here is a link to their website:

They sent out participating certificates for all (which I was excited about!)….they I opened them and found to my surprise I was lucky enough to get a Merit for Marmalade with interesting addition (mine was Quince) and Bronze for first timers Marmalade!

Got rather excited as it was a first attempt ever at Marmalade..Jam and Chutneys are well practised but not Marmalade so was very chuffed!

Anyho, here are a few quick snaps of the certificates and a rather happy smallholder!

Thankyou Dalemain Marmalade Awards and I look forward to trying again next year in a few other categories : )

Katy, The Good Life In Practice x

Marmalade Prep…


My family and I are entering some jars of Marmalade into the International Marmalade Awards this year. We are going to try to enter a few categories. The Seville Marmalade one, the man made one and the one with something added to it! Fingers crossed we shall see how the marmalade making session goes!

Going over to parents at weekend to have a preserving session – but have brought the Seville oranges ready : )

If your interested in the Marmalade Awards pop over to their website:

Katy x


Runacres Home Made Plum Jam Recipe

A quick Plum Jam recipe here to use up surplus plums!


2.7 kg plums
900 ml water
2.7 kg sugar


  • Wash fruit, cut in half and remove stones.
  • Add a little lemon juice to help the set.
  • Simmer the jam for about half an hour until really soft.
  • Add the sugar, stir till dissolved and boil rapidly until setting point.
  • Pot the jam in jars, seal and cover. Ensure to sterilise jars well before and use wax discs.

Then enjoy on toast or a scone! Good filling for a Victoria Sponge Cake too!

Katy, The Good Life In Practice x

Recipe: Wild Cherry Jam by Peter and Heather Runacres

Another Cherry Recipe here from Mum and Dad – using wild cherries!


  • 4 lb cherries
  • juice of 3 lemons
  • 3 1/2 lbs sugar


  1. stone the cherries.
  2. crack some stones and remove the kernels.
  3. Put cherries, kernels & lemon juice in a pan and simmer until soft.
  4. Add the sugar, stir until dissolved and boil rapidly until setting point is reached.
  5. Pot in sterilised jars and cover as normal with wax discs and jar lids.

N.B. As cherries are lacking in pectin, this jam will only give a light set but ideal for add to puddings or hot crusty bread of a morning.

Tip:  If don’t like stoning beforehand – we boiled, then left to get cold over night, gloves on and squashed cherries next morning, then after boiling rapidly stones floated to surface for removal.

By Heather and Peter Runacres.