Posted on

9 Fun St Patrick’s Day Activities For Kids

St Patrick's Day Activities For Kids Banner

St Patrick’s Day is one of the world’s most-celebrated national festivals – so it’s the ideal opportunity for an Ireland-inspired family fun day! Whether you’re looking for a crafty way to spend the day, delicious recipes inspired by St Paddy’s Day, or simple games to get them excited about Irish history and heritage, you can involve the little ones in the festivities with these fun St Patrick’s Day activities for kids!

Find The Pot Of Gold

St Patrick's Day Activities For Kids Pot Of Gold

Image from Polka Dot Chair.

Challenge your kids to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Just fill a glass jar (the bigger the better!) with chocolate coins and set up a scavenger hunt. Come up with your own Ireland-themed clues, or use these easy printable hints to save time. Tie a green ribbon around the neck of the jar for an extra flourish!

Shamrock Painted Jar

St Patrick's Day Activities For Kids Shamrock Jar

Image from Midwestern Moms.

Take your pots of gold to the next level with this tutorial for creating shamrock windows in glass jars. With paint, a shamrock template and a ribbon, it’s easy to make this effective jar that gives the kids a glimpse of the gold hidden inside. Find out more about the symbolism of the shamrock here.

Printable St Paddy’s Day Activities For Kids

These printables are a simple way to enthuse your kids about St Patrick’s Day. With options for a range of ages, you’ll find lots of themed activities to keep the kids occupied. Choose from colouring pages, puzzles, bookmarks and more.

Lucky Breakfast

St Patrick's Day Activities For Kids Breakfast Ideas

Image from Thoughtfully Simple.

Move over soda bread – start the day with a helping of Lucky Charms! This cereal is available in many supermarkets and specialist shops. Serve it up with a bottle of green-tinted milk for an extra St Patrick’s Day touch! Cute glass bottles are available to buy online here.

Rainbow Fruit Salad

St Patrick's Day Activities For Kids - Rainbow Fruit Salad

Image from Thirty Handmade Days.

If you’re looking for a healthier snack, this rainbow fruit salad is ideal. Full of tropical fruits, it’s not your typical Irish fare – but layering up in this cute rainbow pattern is a great way to get the kids eating their reds, yellows and oranges as well as their greens. You can even package them up for school lunches in these food pots.

St Patrick’s Day Slime

St Patrick's Day Activities For Kids Slime

Image from Little Bins For Little Hands.

Science meets St Paddy’s Day with these super fun slime recipes! Choose from glittery green, lucky gold and even rainbow slime with these tutorials. Don’t forget to keep your slime fresh by storing it in a glass jar after use.

Healthy St Patrick’s Day Smoothies For Kids

St Patrick's Day Activities For Kids - Tropical Green Smoothie

Image from Fearless Homemaker.

Here’s another healthy recipe, this time with a green theme. Whip up this delicious smoothie – featuring coconut milk, bananas, pineapple and spinach – and give the kids a tasty, healthy treat! Get the kids involved in the making process by having them peel the bananas and putting all the ingredients in the blender. Serve in these cute mason jars.

Make Your Own Irish Country Scene

St Patrick's Day Activities For Kids - Irish Countryside Scene In A Jar

Image from Sadie Seasongoods.

Capture the beauty of the Irish countryside by creating your own miniature Ireland – in a jar! The finished product is an adorable decorative jar you can keep up well beyond St Patrick’s Day. Source your materials from outside, or you can buy online. Get crystal clear glass jars with no minimum order here.

Irish Flag Mason Jars

St Patrick's Day Activities For Kids - Irish Tricolour Mason Jar Craft

Image from Mason Jar Craft Love.

Transform a simple mason jar into the famous tricolour flag with some paints and primer. The finished jar can be used to store flowers, pens, pencils and other items. Affordable mason jars are available here.

We hope these St Patrick’s Day activities for kids brighten the festivities for your little ones! You can get all these jars and bottles now with no minimum order in our online store.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Posted on

The Best Homemade Jam Recipes

How Long Does Homemade Jam Last

Have you always fancied yourself as the type of person that makes jam at home? Or asked yourself “how long does homemade jam last?” Then read on… It’s jam season here in the UK! Between June and October every year, British fruit is at is ripest and most sweet, making it the perfect time for turning into jam.

How To Make Jam At Home

Sure you could head down to your local supermarket and pick up a pot of ready made jam, but where’s the fun in that? Making jam at home is fairly simple AND you can use your imagination to tailor your preserves to your own specific flavour palette. Like your jams more tangy and sour? Not a problem if you’re making them at home! The process of jam making is fairly similar no matter what fruit (or fruits) you end up using.

Step 1: Clean your jars. In order to create jam that is food safe, the jars that you use to store it must be totally clean in order to stop any bacteria from flourishing. This is especially true when storing jam, as bacteria loves to feed off the sugar! The easiest way to sterilise glass jars is to rinse them in hot soapy water and then put them upside down in the oven at 140 degrees Celsius until thy are dry. Make sure to remove any rubber linings that sit within the jar as these will melt or look misshapen once they emerge from the oven!

Step 2: Wash (and peel if necessary) your fruit and place it in a pan alongside jam sugar, in equal quantities. Keep it at a low heat and stir until all of the sugar has completely dissolved. If your fruit doesn’t have a lot of moisture, you may need to add some boiling water to loosen it. Keeping the mixture at a low temperature is very important, as you do not want the sugar to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Depending on what fruit you are using, you may need to add pectin (a thickening agent) to your mixture in order for your jam to have the right consistency to be able to set properly.

Step 3: Once all the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture up to a rapid boil for 3-5 minutes until the jam reaches a stage where it can set. You will be able to know when to take it off the heat when you see the mixture thicken and boil more slowly.

Step 4: Test if your jam is ready to set. You can do this by taking the mixture off the heat and spooning a small bit of it onto a cold plate or saucer. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then push your finger into it. If the jam ‘wrinkles’, it’s ready to be put into jars to set! If it’s not quite there yet, just put it back onto the heat for slightly longer and keep testing it until it’s ready.

Step 5: Spoon your jam into your sterilised jars and place airtight lids on them whilst the jam is still hot. As the jam cools and sets, it will dip the seal of the jars to create a pressurised atmosphere inside. That’s why you get a distinctive ‘pop’ when you open a jam jar for the first time!

How Long Does Homemade Jam Last?

Homemade fruit preserves can last for up to year or even longer if it is unopened and stored in a cool, dry place, such as a pantry or kitchen cupboard. However the flavour and texture of your jam will start to deteriorate after around 6 months, even if you keep them tightly sealed. Once you’ve opened a jar of jam, then you will need to move it into the fridge and consume it all within 3 months ideally.

How To Make Your Jam Last Longer

  • Process your jars and jam in a hot water bath (known as canning) to reduce the risk of bacteria growing.
  • Use an equal amount of sugar to fruit in your recipe. Sugar is a preservative, so the more you use, the longer your jam will last!

It is difficult to give a definitive answer to this question, so you will have to use your best judgement and common sense when you’re deciding to eat your homemade jam. If the jam is discoloured, has visible mouldy patches or a strange smell, then it is best to leave it!

The Best Homemade Jam Recipes

The Vegetarian Society has a fantastic, comprehensive list of all the fruit and vegetables that are in season each month, if you’re undecided on which flavours to use in your jam. If you’re stuck for inspiration, why not take a look at 5 of the best, most luxurious homemade jam recipes we’ve found online?

1. Cherry & Cinnamon Jam

This would be a great jam to make now and keep for Christmas, as the cinnamon flavours are very evocative of the festive time of year! This jam would taste incredible if it was spread into a chocolate cake…

Ingredients: cherries, cinnamon sticks, lemon juice, sugar and pectin.

Find the full recipe at BBC Good Food.

2. Blackcurrant Jam

Blackcurrants are one of this country’s greatest fruits – so spare a thought for all the poor Americans that have never tasted them before (we didn’t find this out until recently – who knew?)! Blackcurrant jam tastes incredible when spread on a scone alongside clotted cream, or on a big slab of doorstep toast with lashings of butter.

Ingredients: blackcurrants and sugar.

Find the full recipe at Farmersgirl Kitchen.

3. Strawberry, Long Pepper & Lime Jam

Long Pepper (sometimes known as Indian Long Pepper or pippali) has a very similar to black pepper, but is more floral like cinnamon. It gives a good kick to this strawberry  and lime jam recipe! Spread it on your morning toast to wake you up on weekday mornings.

Ingredients: strawberries, jam sugar, salt, limes and long pepper.

Find the full recipe at Great British Chefs.

4. Fig Jam Scented With Earl Grey Tea & Star Anise

This is one to save for your poshest guests. The combination of these luxurious, rich ingredients makes this preserve ideal for serving alongside sandwiches and scones for afternoon tea. You could even give out pots of this jam to your friends and family, as it makes a thoughtful, yet inexpensive birthday or Christmas gift!

Ingredients: earl grey teabags, ripe figs, jam sugar, lemon juice and ground star anise.

Find the full recipe at Delicious Magazine.

5.  Plum & Mulled Wine Jam

This is another jam that will go down a treat at Christmas. This jam tastes lovely when used sparingly on toast or when it’s spread into a stacked sponge cake.

Ingredients: red plums, red wine, mulled wine spices, (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc), orange zest and granulated sugar.

Find the full recipe at The Women’s Institute.

Glass Jam Jars For Home Bakers

Here at Ampulla, we specialise in providing high quality packaging for big businesses and individuals alike. Thanks to our flexible ordering system, you can order as little as one unit of each of our products! Our tired pricing means that regardless of the quantity you have ordered, you will be getting the best possible value for money. If you’re looking for glass jam jars, then you’ve come to the right place.

glass jam jars

Our range of glass jam jars encompasses capacities from 30ml up to 500ml, which all come with the option of adding colourful twist off lids. We’ve got jam jars in all shapes and sizes, that are perfect fro use by both home bakers and big businesses. Check out our full range today.

Liked our guide to jam making? Then we think that you would also like our guide to brewing your own cider!

Posted on

How To Brew Your Own Cider

brew your own cider header

Over in the USA, apple cider is a soft drink that is essentially just concentrated apple juice. But we all know that traditional British cider is where it’s at… Here in the UK, apple cider is fermented, which makes it alcoholic and it is revered as being a quintessential taste of summer, a staple of the West Country and is available in a massive array of fruity regional flavours. So how can you brew your own cider at home? We’ve found an easy to follow recipe from Countryfile that can help you learn the basics.

What home brewing equipment will you need? 

You’ll need: a juicer, straining bag, 5 gallon bucket open top bucket, 2 gallon bucket (you will need to drill 30 holes into the bottom), hydrometer, funnel, demijohns, measuring jug and cider bottles.

We’ve got a fantastic 30L Plastic Fermentation Bucket that would be great for making cider with, as it has a handy measurement guide printed on the side. We also have a wide range of glass beer and cider bottles with crown caps that are perfect for filling with your finished beverage.

What ingredients will you need?

Ingredients: 8kg apples, 5g champagne yeast, Campden tablets and sugar (only needed if you want to make sparkling cider). This quantity of ingredients will make 5 gallons (approximately 22 litres) of cider.

How To Brew Your Own Cider

Step 1: Pick Your Apples

If you’ve got an apple tree in your garden then great, but if not, supermarket apples are just as good. The type of apple you pick will determine the taste of your cider, so choose wisely. Bramley apples will produce a sharp, tangy cider, whilst Gala apples will create a sweeter flavour. You could even use both tangy and sweet apples together to make the perfect brew!

Step 2: Clean Your Home Brewing Equipment

Fermenting cider is a scientific process and it’s important to make sure that the equipment you’re using is free of any dirt or germs that might interfere with the process. Make sure that you soak all of your equipment in hot water for a couple of hours before use and add 4 Campden tablets per gallon of water used to sterilise them.

Step 3: Juice The Apples

Now that everything is clean and ready to go, you can extract the juice from your apples. Set up your juicer so that it dispenses the juice into your straining bag, which should be placed in your smaller straining bucket (with the 30 tiny holes drilled into the bottom). The straining bucket needs to above your larger fermenting bucket, which is where your perfectly filtered juice will end up. The straining bag and stating bucket will filter out all the tiny bits of pulp and skin that gets through the juicer’s filters, leaving you with a crystal clear apple juice. Measure the gravity of your pure apple juice using your hydrometer and record the measurement (you’ll need it later). Check out this handy guide to using a hydrometer, if you haven’t used one before.

Step 4: Add Yeast

Take a 1 pint measuring jug, fill to the top with some of your apple juice and then add 5g of champagne yeast. Leave for half an hour then stir thoroughly to disperse the yeast throughout the mixture. Divide your yeast mixture between your demijohns, then fill them to the top with the rest of your apple juice.

Step 5: Leave It To Ferment

Place your sealed demijohns in a warm place (between 15°C and 20°C) and leave them for 3-4 weeks until you have a clear cider.

Step 6: Measure The Alcohol Content

Use your hydrometer to measure the gravity of your cider. You need your cider to have a reading of 1 or less. If the reading is higher than 1, then leave the mix to ferment for a bit longer. Once you have your final measurement, then you can work out your cider’s alcohol content percentage using an ABV chart. You are aiming for an ABV of 4-5%.

Step 7: Dispense Into Bottle & Add Fizz (Optional)

You can now dispense your cider into your cider bottles. If you want a fizzy cider, then you need to add half a teaspoon of white sugar to each bottle before pouring in your cider. If you then leave your bottles for a few more weeks, your cider will be fizzy!

Step 8: Kick Back & Enjoy!

Cider is best served chilled and enjoyed on a sunny, warm(ish) British summer’s day. If you start making your home brew cider now, then you can have it ready for this summer!

Like our guide on how to brew your own cider? Then we think that you’d also like our guide on how to sterilise glass bottles properly!