Occasionally I get emails from companies or organisations requesting a collaboration of some description here on the blog. I don't get them often enough to have a formal advertising policy so I treat each one on an individual basis. If it's something that interests me, or that is relevant to my eco/frugal/simple blog theme, then I'll go with it. The quirkier the request the more interested I am, although I did once turn down a writer who wanted to guest blog on the topic of "How to look after your books". On the other hand, however, I have blogged in return for knobs. (You can read that blog post here - the knobs feature at the end). If it's a sofa company wanting me to link up with them, it's a big yawn and I'm definitely not interested.
When Fabrizio from www.holyart.co.uk got in touch and asked if he could send me a set of natural products that I could taste and use to cook a 'delicious dish', it was unusual enough to get me interested. I do blog about food a lot and I always like a natural product. Having visited the Cistercian monastery on Caldey Island last year and sampled the fudge they produce there, the part of Fabrizio's email that talked about helping some Monasteries to promote their natural products by blogging about them, appealed to me.
I was excited to see what the natural products would be...When a jar of jam and a bar of beautifully packaged chocolate arrived, I was surprised, but I am a jam lover and a chocolate lover, in moderation, so I could work with that!
This blog post will deal with the jam. (I couldn't come up with a recipe that could incorporate jam and chocolate, so the chocolate will get its own blog post later).
At this time of year there's only really one thing to do with jam and that is to eat it on top* of cream on a scone**. Perhaps I could have done something more elaborate with it but in my opinion there is no better way to show a jam off to its best than as part of a cream tea. Especially if you're from Devon, like me.
The cream tea using the Holyart jam was very special in that the jam had been sent by Fabrizio, all the way from Italy - it is Uva flavour. From the look and taste of the jam I thought that Uva must be plum, but the word for plum is in fact Prugna. Uva is grape/raisin/sultana/gooseberry. The jam is probably gooseberry jam. A cream tea generally utilises red jam, but a Wiltshire cream tea using Italian jam and Cornish clotted cream, is definitely allowed to bend the rules.
A big thank you Fabrizio and Holyart for enabling us to enjoy a cream tea on a rainy English summer's day!
* I am here referring here to the proper way to eat a cream tea, cream first, jam on top - the Devon way, of course.
** I always use Delia Smith's scone recipe which can be found here.