This hilarious little extract came from a recent (November 2010) copy of the Waitrose Kitchen Magazine that I picked up, it rather sums up my kitchen experience.
"In my mind's eye, I always imagined myself making jam and marmalade in a sunlit kitchen, surrounded by gleaming copper pans and gingham squares. In reality, the making of jam in our house is hot, heavy work; the great bubbling pail of sugar-stew liberally seasoned with swear words, and at least one finger or thumb being held under the cold tap for 20 minutes after a run-in with a scalding splodge of syrup. Which refuses to set. And turns the tea towels purple. But who cares? Rose-tinted spectacles come with the territory... Admiring the serried racks of just-made jams, with their wax-circle stoppers and hand-written labels, is one of life's great little pleasures. It's one of the few boxes I've actually ticked in the larder of my dreams, where I shall have trugs loaded with medlars and damsons, or perhaps sloes, quince and elderberries. There'll be demijohns of single-orchard cider, interestingly flavoured cordials and single-estate teas in fragrant wooden caddies. Ooh, and a truckle of cheddar, plus a wedge of varicose stilton and a salted hock of ham, studded with cloves.
None of this exists, mostly because I am not the chatelaine of an Edwardian mansion. My real larder, which is in fact a pull-out kitchen cupboard, boasts a multipack of Hula Hoops, a sorry tin of coconut milk, some desiccated herbs, a collection of lazily sprouting potatoes and an onion (deceased)" - Mimi Spencer, Waitrose Kitchen November 2010.