In the garden of our (future) barn conversion is a rather large cherry tree. Last year we had a load of cherries on the tree before we went on holiday and none when we came back. Typical. This year our holiday timing has been a lot better and we've been able to keep an eye on the cherries. I picked some last weekend that were slightly under-ripe and put them on the window cill to finish ripening. The were ok, but a bit tart and tough - I de-stoned them all this morning and cooked them gently with a little water and honey to be used in some cakes and smoothies. This afternoon we popped over to the barns to get the car ready to take a load of stuff to the tip for the kids and we saw that the cherries must be ripe because a flock of birds flew out of the tree as we drove past. The only thing to do was to get a ladder and get picking! We picked loads and loads and had to stop because the bag was full. I fully intended to give up jam making until we had a proper kitchen but since we spied the jam pan in the storage container, we are going to give it a go. The jam pan was visible but almost inaccessible - we nearly had to give up on our jam quest, but a bit of climbing and balancing and it was in our hands. Interestingly we had the forethought to keep it with the jam thermometer and bottling jug - it was almost as if we had planned it. The temperature on the thermometer was 100F so it's pretty warm at the moment in the container. Actually, the recent warm spell (after the monsoon season) makes our flat most uncomfortably hot; we must be mad thinking of making jam in our pokey furnace of a kitchen.