When I buy or am given a new book – or an old book which is new to me, I’m always interested in who wrote it and when and how old they were when they did so. I picked up an old jam making recipe book in Coleraine – I did pay for it of course! It was written by Ethelind Fearon which is a most unusual name… so I had to try and find out a little about her.

She was born in 1898, was passionate about gardening and worked in H.G.Wells Garden; she wrote a number of books, and I will be on a look out for them! She also wrote gardening books, cookery books, books for children, and in her spare time restored old houses and ran a tea shop! Her published work includes ‘Flower Growing For Ungardeners’, ‘The Reluctant Hostess’, ‘Home-Made Sweets, Candies and Fudge – How to Make Them’ and the book I have, ‘Jams, Jellies and Preserves’. She sounds a most unusual and interesting person, but I can find out very little about her… I don’t know if Fearon is her maiden or married name but judging by the comments and articles about her, she was a real ‘character’!

One of her recipes in the book I have is for a jam ‘cooked in the sun’; she suggests strawberries, raspberries, cherries or loganberries, which are briefly (1 minute) cooked with sugar, then put in dishes covered with a pane of glass in a greenhouse or somewhere in direct sunshine and left for a few days until it has become thick enough to bottle… This might work in a good summer with sunshine every day, but so far this year I think making jam in the normal way would be better!

Here is an interesting article:

http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/tag/ethelind-fearon/

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