Well Preserved…

This entry is filed under Editorial.

Brimming with wholesome goodness

Brimming with wholesome goodness

In readiness for Wednesday afternoon’s broadcast with Sue Davies  I’m bringing you my top five preserving recipes to try, plus an easy sloe gin recipe on the drinks front. Make now while fruit and veg are at their peak and give to family and friends as lovely homemade Christmas gifts.

There’s something about preserving that brings out my inner domestic goddess. I just love the whole ritual from start to finish. Call me sad, but to see an assortment of jars and bottles brimming with wholesome, homemade produce is a truly wonderful thing.

Apple, Ginger & Fig Chutney

Greengage Conserve

Marrow 5 Spice Chutney

Pickled Shallots

Quince Jelly

Sloe Gin

The good news is last months prolific rainfall prompted a huge growing spurt on the fruit and veg front as anyone with an allotment or veggie patch will know.  Whether you ‘grow your own’ or not doesn’t matter as farmers markets are spilling over with cheap, seasonal produce. So whatever you do, don’t miss out on bottling the last of summers fruit and vegetables.  Make now and enjoy the fruits of your labour (scuse the pun!) over Christmas.

If you’re new to preserving you’re in for a treat, because contrary to what you might think, it’s all very straightforward. Chopping and peeling is pretty much it. Then all you do is leave the produce to simmer quietly on the stove leaving you free to do something else before getting down to bottling and labelling it.

PLUS you don’t need any strange paraphernalia like jelly bags, preserving pans, muslin cloths, waxed paper etc etc to be successful. They’re all well and good if you’re doing a ton of preserving but a waste of money otherwise. All you really need is a pair of tights, a large stainless steel pan, a measuring jug and a few spare hours (that last one might be the hardest).

Do’s & Don’ts For Successful Pickling

1. Wash produce and prep, then use prep’d weight for recipe quantity
2. To prevent stain marks use a stainless steel knife when peeling
3. Use only stainless steel, enamel or non stick pans
4. Sterilise glass jars before using**
5. Completely cover vegetables in vinegar when pickling
6. Use vinegar with minimum 5% acid content
7. Ensure lids are air tight and have a plastic coating to stop corrosion
8. Store produce in a cool, dry, dark cupboard
9.Only use ripe or underripe fruit free from blemishes and bruises

** Always use sterilized jars and lids. Wash them in hot soapy water, rinse well before drying in oven (150C/ Gas 2) for 10 minutes. Alternatively run the jars through the dishwasher on a hot program.

14 Responses to “Well Preserved…”

  1. Audrey says:

    We were doing some browsing and came across your blog site. The info here is great so will be reading your posts regularly. Thanks!

  2. Amber says:

    wow well they all sound delicious! Particularly the apple chutney, I am a big fan of apple puree, and used to eat lots of it as a child as my nanny used to make copious amounts! I made your recipe yesterday and it was all i hoped it would be! The apple brought back tasty memories of childhood and the little fig seeds gave it a crunch and the ginger gave it a kick which made it that bit more grown up! thank you very much you sent me straight back down memory lane with your delicous chutney!

  3. Christian says:

    Excellent article as usual with plenty of practical info. Thanks Uma.

  4. S.B says:

    Uma you are a cooking genius and have inspired me to get cracking on making some chutney over weekend 😛

  5. Uma says:

    Hi Trisha,
    You won’t find damsons in the supermarket sadly. Ask your neighbours and friends if they have a damson tree or chat up people on your local allotment, someone is bound to know where a tree is. The post office as Sherston is worth a visit as they sometimes have an abundance of fresh local fruit turning up on their counter.

  6. sarahcg says:

    Cherry vodka is lovely, so is chilli vodka. A friend of mine used to make something using the very youngest beech leaves, that was pretty lethal too!

  7. Trisha says:

    Well done Uma, I heard you on the radio the other day. Can you tell me where I can get damsons round here, do the supermarkets sell them ? I haven’t noticed any, but someone told me they are fantastic in gin and I want to make some for Christmas. Thanks Trisha

  8. Bruce says:

    Wow! Impressive work Ms Wylde. I had no idea you were such a susie homemaker. You’ll be on radio 4 next and doing the rounds at the WI.

  9. Shane Ogles says:

    Great blog post! What great ideas.

  10. Julia says:

    Excellent post! your foodie pictures get better and better. Well done Uma and keep up the good work.

  11. Sally Anne says:

    You should try making damson gin Uma it is excellent. We’ve been making it now for the last 3 years, I far prefer it to sloe gin and its less fiddly.

  12. Ellen Francoise says:

    Love this weeks blog post, you’ve inspired me Uma, now I know what to do with my marrows!

  13. Young Jeezy says:

    This blog excites me and is very nicely done.

  14. Debbie says:

    I’m loving the idea of sage jelly, it looks amazing, but I can’t say I’m too keen on peeling all those shallots and pickling them.

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