Workwear clothing – apache, dickies and scruffs

Those of you that read my blog regularly will know I like to keep busy and am a joiner by trade. Because of this I have always bought and worn professional workwear clothing. The quality and reliability of these products is far and away superior to what you get from a regular clothing store and to be honest they usually cost a lot less too.

One of my favourite brands is Apache workwear and I usually buy from, they have a great range and offer free delivery. They have never let me down yet and on occasion gone that extra mile to keep me happy, so I highly recommend them.

Other brands that I like include : Dickies, Scruffs and Portwest. All of which are available from dbworkwear

This is the type of clothing I wear when I’m making my jam racks (online shop possibly coming soon btw)

Oddsmonkey review

For my sins I like a flutter on the football now and then, or at least I used to until I discovered oddsmonkey Review.

This is a brand new way of betting, there is no risk and it just makes you money. It sounds weird but it’s a great little pass time. Anyone who is into the bookies should take a look at this as it is easy money. It can be time consuming but what isn’t, it’s the easiest money I have ever made from home.

I know this isn’t jam related but I think it’s so good I had to blog about it. It gives me the extra cash I need to make even more jam. What could be better. It’s called matched betting but you will learn all you need to know on the link I posted above.

It’s helped me immensely and I hope it does you too.


Damson Jam Recipe

It’s a great time of year for picking Damsons! They are perfect now, so if you have a damson tree in your garden go and grab some so we can make this fantastic jam. A real favorite in our house.

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 kg damsons
  • 300ml water
  • 1.3 kg jam sugar


  1. Wash the damsons and remove all the stalks. Place them in a large plan and simmer gently until soft, press them against the side of the pan to help the stones fall out. Use a slotted spoon to get the stones out of the water.
  2. Simmer until the mixture has reduced by about half.
  3. Stir in the sugar slowly until it is dissolved, then slowly bring to a boil and then boil rapidly for 12 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool for 10-12 minutes and then remove the scum. Pour into warmed sterilized jars.
  5. Done! How easy is that! and it tastes delicious.

Keep in a cool dark place for up to 1 year.

Looking for an accountant in darlington

I was recently looking for accountants in darlington. I decided that I needed a good one as my tax return is an annual headache. Being self employed has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Filling out forms for HMRC is not one of the advantages! So I decided it was time to bring in the professionals. It’s always wise to go with someone local for these things as at some point you might actually have to go and see these people and make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing.

I am terrible at keeping a record of my in’s and out’s, I usually forget to keep my receipts and invoices meaning I’ve probably paid way to much tax over the years. Hopefully this new venture will save me money and get me more organised with my paperwork.

I already have a box ready to pop all my receipts in and I am endearing to print out all my invoices from my online expenditure as soon as I get them that way I don’t forget about them later. I bought a wireless printer just for this job but that is an entirely different post!

The company gave me a few forms to fill in and I have to take various forms of ID when I go so they can prove I am who I say I am. Apart from that it has so far been smooth sailing. Expect I wont need to update this until April? Not sure how it works to be honest, but I will keep you up to date.

New recipes coming soon so stay tuned!

Spoiled Jam

So I did it again and made too much! I hate throwing it away, it’s so wasteful. All that lovely fruit just wasted. In order to combat this problem I’ve bought my self a label printer so I can label all my jars with a date.jam

Now my Jam looks great and I will always know when it was made!

Blackberry Jam Recipe!


  • 900g blackberries
  • 900g golden granulated sugar
  • knob of butter


  1. Put your fruit into a preserving pan or large saucepan and add 50ml of water and 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Bring the ingredients to the boil.    blackberries
  2. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.The fruit should be now be soft, if not keep on heat until it is.
  3. Pour in the sugar, stir in over a very low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn the heat back up, bring to a rolling boil, then boil blackberries for 11-12 minutes, DO NOT STIR – until the setting point of 105C is reached.
  4. Remove from the heat, skim off any scum, then stir in a 150g of butter. Leave for about 20 mins so the fruit can settle. Pour into sterilized jars, label and seal.IMG_7694    BlackberryJam-final

Spray paints for wood – ral british standard colours -Jam Rack Project

AS well as making Jam here at Jam Land we love to make and create anything to do with jam. We had so many jam jars lying about the kitchen we figured we werent the only ones with this problem to set out to solve it!

Using a wine rack type idea I got to work making my own jam rack. I’ve always been handy with wood since I was school so I usually have a wood working project on the go. It’s a passion of mine.

We get a lot of these rather nice wooden crates when we get ingredients delivered and they are the perfect size (I think) for this project. Using the crate as a base all I needed to do was create the innards. I cut to pieces of wood to size and drilled some holes in them to thread the dowel rods through. This would be the separating pieces. I slotted all of this into place and fixed them into position using wood glue and screws from underneath.

Very quick and easy job but look at the result!









I decided to leave this one rustic looking but once my friends and family saw it I had requests to make more. Some people wanted wine racks too which is exactly the same process but slightly wider space.

I also had requests for different colours. I new they would be very difficult to paint with a brush once finished so I decided I needed some spray paint for wood , I found some online easily enough so I ordered a bunch of different colours. RAL Spray paint aerosols are nice and easy to use and the colours are good and last a long time so I went with those.

Using spray paints is a good idea for many reasons but the main one is a fantastic finish and even coverage. It adds a professional touch to your finished item. I’ve had so many requests for these racks I haven’t had time to make any jam to fill them, however ads they have proved so popular I am considering selling them so if you are interested leave a comment or send me a message. If there’s enough interest I may start selling them on this website. My original plan to sell jam on here but there are so many food regulation hoops to jump through I think it might be more work than it’s worth for the small amount I would expect to sell. Wood though is regulation free as far as I know!

IF you are interested in where I got the spray paints then go to

Oh and before I forget, there’s a new recipe on the bbc food website. I made a batch today and it is delish and very easy to make

Sugar (there’s lots in Jam!)

Put simply, sugar is a carbohydrate that makes foods taste sweet. There are many varieties of sugar, including glucose, fructose, lactose, maltose and sucrose – also known as table sugar.

Some of these sugars occur naturally in fruits, vegetables and other foods. But much of the sugar we consume is processed man made and added on sugar.

The most common sources of added sugars are fizzy drinks, cakes, pies, chocolate, fruit drinks and desserts. Just a single can of cola can contain up to 7 tsps of added sugar, while an average-sized chocolate bar can contain up to 6 tsps. I don’t need to tell you how much is in jam.

Sugars have been associated with an increase in obesity. In the US, obesity is a growing problem with a large portion of the population now obese. Fizzy drinks and chocolate being a stable part of our diet.

Are we becoming addicted to sugar?


Sugar can be addicitive as can anything that tastes good and gives a energy boost. Consuming to much is the problem. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow cites sugar addiction as one of the reasons she decided to quit sugar completely. This is a bit extreme and very hard to achieve in the modern world.

“Sugar is basically a socially acceptable, legal, recreational drug with deadly consequences.”  says Paltrow.


Is eliminating sugar from our diet healthy?


Biochemist Leah Fitzsimmons, of the University of Birmingham in the UK, told The Daily Mail:

“Cutting all sugar from your diet would be very difficult to achieve. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products and dairy replacements, eggs, alcohol and nuts all contain sugar, which would leave you with little other than meat and fats to eat – definitely not very healthy.”

Many people turn to artificial sweeteners as a sugar alternative, but according to a study reported by MNT in 2014, these sweeteners may still drive diabetes and obesity.

Long story short. Enjoy your sugar in moderation.