These days we don’t have to go far before we come across a supermarket, corner shop, or even a farmer’s market, which is very convenient if the sudden urge comes over us for a blob of jam with our tea. At one time this would not have been something to take for granted.

In the old days preparations would have been made for the winter by filling the cellar, shed, or loft with that year’s harvest of fruit and vegetables; sacks of apples, boxes of root vegetables and barrels of fruit. Then, in the summer months, we would have turned them into pickles, jams and preserves.

Jam making is a wonderful activity to have going on in your doll’s house kitchen and you can almost tell the season by what is lying around on the floor or waiting to be poured into pots; strawberries and raspberries in June, black currants and red currants in July, plums in August. If you’re pickling, leave some eggs, apples, onions, and tomatoes on the table and put some cold meat and hunks of homemade bread on the counter.

There is no need to let it take over your kitchen, but just let the cook have their corner and watch how onlookers salivate as they peer into your doll's house. Don’t forget to line up some jars and a messy saucepan for good effect, perhaps some sugar and a well meaning sticky fingered child will add to the amusement.

Naturally, the atmosphere would be cheerful as everyone in the kitchen would love the smell and the old-fashioned ritual of stirring, testing and tasting. So much nicer than a visit to the shops.

Messy jam making adds interest to this Victorian kitchen scene
Time for tea with jam tarts