Wednesday 8 September 2010

Preservation on the Reservation

All around us there are signs that the summer is retreating; neighbours are coating outbuildings with dark weather-wearing paint, bales of hay are being wrapped, containing summer aromas in airtight bags.

Taking note that the harvest cannot last forever, I've been busy too. I've frozen kilos of blackberries, runner beans and tried to do the same with the peas. Unfortunately we had an infestation of 5yo and 7yo homo sapiens and the peas didn't make it!! There are enough potatoes to last for several months and the cooking apples are looking good.

I found a lovely book in the library, The Preserving Book by Lynda Brown and I have been steadily working my way through some of the recipes as well as going it alone!

So far I've made two types of plum vodka. I particularly like the one where I stoned and halved the fruit and brought the plums, sugar and vodka to a boil before pouring into a sterile jar to sit for three months. This vodka is a wonderful pink colour. I'm going to find little elegant bottles to decant the liquor into and gift them at Christmas.

Then I made Beetroot Relish, which is stunningly good, even before it has matured. Yum.

Next I made Plum, Rum and Chilli Jam.... (yes we did have a bit of a bumper plum crop!) Truthfully I over cooked it a bit and so it's more akin to a condiment for turkey than a soft jam for toast, so I labeled it accordingly. I wrote

Plum, Rum and Chilli Jam. Also good with foul.

All would have been fine if I hadn't passed a pot to the neighbours who asked whether I was calling their food into question. Oh well only 35 labels to amend... so glad I lovingly drew those plums on every.single.label. in my spare time!

I'm tempted by pickling next, inspired by my friend @ natural selection, all that's holding me back is my spelling.... Wish me luck.


  1. This is what makes all the hard work worthwhile, isn't it?

    That reminds me, I've got to get pickling some cucumbers today. :)

  2. You are an industrious little thing aren't you!? I am impressed. It all sounds so good.

  3. I think it feels like walking into a movie when I come in here.

    Love your blog! Thanks for nice comment on my WabiSabi!

    Agneta, the swedish one ;)

  4. I'd best get out and have a look at me plums.

  5. All sound delicious. Sounds like you have a wonderful pantry set for winter.

  6. I've thought about pickling as it looks alot easier than jam, perhaps I'll start with that, then progress to Jam. All looks good though!

  7. Brenda: I almost look forward to the winter when I will stare at my hard work in jars, bottles and freezer bags.
    James: Busy bee me!
    Agneta: That's exactly what I feel about your blog. Thanks.
    MadameSmokinGun:Weyhey... git yer plums out for the lads... jam sandwiches.
    'Cross the Pond: Great word 'pantry,' mine is getting fuller by the day.
    The English Writer: Have just mastered jam.... I'm 45 next birthday.... maybe you're too young for jam - lucky devil. xx


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