Archive | December 2016

A (short) venture into making preserves to sell.

It’s all very well using up the ‘glut’ to make chutneys and jams etc for the cupboard, or even to give away, but it’s another step into the unknown and presume your preserves are going to be appreciated (and more importantly paid for) by others. Especially at that well known market place of the School Christmas Fayre.

I have had experience of this at our last school with some handmade door wreaths. That may be for another blog. Anyway, I have learned that, as you stand tentatively behind your table anxiously watching what other stall holders are unpacking and presenting, you can expect at least 4 types of prospective customers:

  • Those that say “oh, I make that myself” as if to excuse themselves from actually buying anything
  • Those that scoff at the price as “it’s cheaper in the co-op” – of course it is, that’s mass produced generic jam made from ingredients that have been bartered in cost from the suppliers and bought in bulk. (not that any seller can express that without offending, as with any response to the above comment)
  • There are always those that will buy from you as they are being supportive as your friend. Thus inducing a pinch of guilt for taking their money when you would probably have given it to them anyway!
  • And finally there are those people that you don’t know, seem genuinely interested in your product and are happy to pay what you ask. Phew, it might just be worth it….

I had made a few jars of courgette relish in the summer to deal with our mountain of courgettes. Thanks to a friends’ recipe. I already had 2 courgette cakes in the freezer. Again, one for another blog….setting myself up for more stories here!

 

                                              Mint Jelly, Rosehip Syrup and Courgette Relish

Anyway the relish went down well and after making my next batch, and a batch of mint jelly, I realised I had quite a collection in the cupboard. I took all the various jars and bottles out and stacked them up. I took a picture and posted on Facebook, where else?!

Feeling quite pleased with the achievement I realised I had actually been quite productive over the summer.

 

A few conversations at the school gates later and here I am, with another Mum, stood at a table at the Christmas Fayre with my jars, some flapjacks and a whole heap of expectations.

  • Christmas Mincemeat
  • Lemon Marmalade
  • Damson Jam with Gin
  • Quince Jam
  • Mint Jelly
  • Hedgerow Jelly

I have done this kind of thing a few times and always set myself high targets. The reality often crashes around me as I try to find storage space the next day for all that didn’t sell.

At least Christmas presents will be easy to find this year……….