You know, I wonder if we should ask ourselves why it has taken almost 100 years for the WI to get around to holding a Jam Festival! Over the last weekend people came to our WI college in Oxford, Denman College, to view jars of jam - in fact, over 500 jars of jams in 12 classes, including one entitled 'Man Made' and another especially for children. The Jam with a Difference class did attract a very high number of entries - one of my favourite being "Traffic Jam", a glass jam jar full of small plastic cars! A Winner!!
Prizes were awarded in each category with for the best in show prize winner receiving not only a jam making kit and lots of goodies but £700 worth of Stoves electrical kitchen equipment of their choice. Stoves was only one of the sponsors of the event which also included Billington's Sugar, The Jam Jar Shop and World of Glass.
As well as examining jam for clarity and colour, visitors could buy from stalls locally produced foods and goods. And during the two days cookery demonstrations, with jam as a common theme, were given by Rachel Green, Pam Corbin and the WI's own Anne Harrison, Chair of Denman College, whose idea the jam festival was. The fourth demonstrator was Dhruv Baker. Winner of Masterchef 2010 and no stranger to Denman College, Dhruv took part by cooking for a crowd using Denman's own catering kitchen.
Look out for the next WI Real Jam Festival – get boiling and stirring and that Best in Show title could be yours.
And now, for the next few days it is back to meetings, not least a National Board meeting, the final one of the year. We are looking forward to the Harmonies joining us all at the end of the two day meeting where I have a hunch they will sing their new version of 'Jerusalem'.
You can download Jerusalem from the internet on 12 December, and the more folk who do the closer it gets to being a possible Christmas No. 1.