Blackberry and Apple Jam
1. Take your two daughters blackberry picking. The older one will help, the younger one will come too.
2. Try not to strangle younger daughter after she runs away up the towpath, very close to the edge of the canal.
3. Take children to Waitrose to buy cooking apples, as they are not yet appearing as windfalls in either Hanwell or West Ealing, which are the only places you are prepared to look.
4. Put all ingredients in the fridge and get on with other things such as mopping up accidents, trying not to shout, light crying and serious gin drinking.
5. After children are in bed, get all ingredients out of fridge, sterilise jam jars in a half hearted manner, find recipe, put younger daughter back to bed, drink gin.
6. Weigh ingredients. Discover that the ratios mean that you now need to peel, core and chop 7 apples. Cry quietly. Peel, core and chop 7 apples. Cut hand with peeler. Drink gin.
7. Make jam in standard manner; bung everything in a pan, boil until setting point is reached - forget to place saucer in freezer prior to starting jam making, so test for setting point on bottle of vodka. Contemplate drinking vodka. Finish gin, search vainly for bottle.
8. Pour boiling hot jam into boiling hot jars. Get jam on hands, tea towel, feet and work surfaces. Curse gin.
9. Put lids on jam jars and photograph. Bask in all round domestic goddessness and pour a small celebratory vodka. Top up with gin.