My mum was very good at the frugal lifestyle, she liked nothing better than a bargain or getting something for free. At this time of year there was usually a preserving pan of something being made into a jam, jelly or chutney. To me the process seemed to take an age as the fruit would be left in the pan for sometime before it was eventually bottled. The upside was a larder full of jars & one day I intend to track down her Gooseberry and Elderflower Jam recipe.
When we got around to making preserves at school during a Home Economics lesson, I was shocked to discover that the process could be done and dusted in the hour and a half lesson time! It was a revelation.
It is only in recent years that I have felt the urge to make preserves myself – partly because I don’t eat a large quantity myself but marriage to a man who does like his jam and marmalade has made me take the plunge. We started with marmalade using the tins of concentrate where someone else has done the hard bit of softening the skin and pulping the oranges. Someone at work gave me some beetroot which I pickled, then a gift of windfall apples made me experiment with chutney and this summer/ autumn I have been busy picking blackberries – helped by a hedge of brambles opposite our house.
The picture below shows my store cupboard – I’m impressed with myself and I think my mum would be pleased with me. I’m now thinking of pickling something, onions, beetroot or something else… we shall see.
I suppose the question is – what is your favourite preserve?