Aha! said my inner tight-wad. (Actually who am I kidding? My tight-wad is not inner at all, it's an intrinsic personality trait that I wear proudly for all to see.) Let's make jelly!
Jelly is so delicious. It's a bit of an old lady cupboard item, I'll admit that. But it's beautiful like stained glass and has a delicate flavour that's good with pikelets or toast, or brushed over fruit tarts as a glaze, or even alongside roast lamb if you're into that.
This is how I make jelly: Don't even bother to peel or core your apples, just wash them and chop them into chunky pieces. Add other fruit if you have some to get rid of (I added four sour plums, just because). Add some water to the fruit- almost cover it but not quite. Simmer the fruit until it is soft. You can press it gently with a wooden spoon but FOR GOODNESS SAKES don't break it up too much or your jelly will be cloudy. When the fruit is soft, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. Then, strain it though a clean cloth (I use a new 'chux' cloth) and let it drip through over night. You will be tempted to squeeze the bag, but I again I say DON'T DO THAT FOR GOODNESS SAKES or your jelly will be cloudy and old women will tsk tsk when they see it.
Then, measure your juice and bring it to a simmer. Add 2 c sugar for every pint of juice, and the juice of 1 lemon. Then boil until you reach a set (I have a stack of saucers in the freezer, then I put a little on the saucer and see if it forms a skin when I push my finger accross it).
Total cost: Jars, free. Apples, free. Sugar, $1.50. Total cost per jar, $0.30.
Have a lovely weekend everyone! And if you have any good tips for other things people like to buy at school fairs, please share!