Sunday, 20 October 2013

Making a Sticky Mess

This week has been preserves week in our house. We've made jelly, marmalade and chutney resulting in a lot of pan shuffling, using of every utensil and and a lot of stickiness. It's been great!

It all started with the tomatoes. We've been watching our tomatoes fail to ripen for weeks and had come to the conclusion that rather than sit patiently and wait for it to happen we'd make green tomato chutney. Then the week before our free weekend half of the tomatoes ripened. Typical. We decided to make a mixed tomato chutney anyway as we aren't eating enough salads now to get through them.



Then we thought, while we're making chutney, why not make marmalade from the oranges we put in the freezer when the seville oranges were in season. It was looking a good plan - marmalade and chutney would be plenty to keep us our of mischief.




I am from the pre-boil the oranges school of marmalade making. Once boiled the insides just scoop out and the skins are nice and soft for shredding. It is also more pleasurable to be up to your elbows in warm sticky gunge rather than cold sticky gunge!


As the weekend approached though, a box of quinces appeared from stage left. My cousin had been given them and thought we might like some. That sealed the weekends fate of being preserves, preserves, preserves. We no longer had enough empty jars to contain all the goodness but found a willing friend with a stash. While making this lot has certainly kept us busy, much in these recipes is of the "do this, then leave for an hour (or two or twelve)" ilk which makes it quite relaxing work for the amount of output. Perfect!

I love our old grocers scales for this sort of thing. We got them in an antiques shop for less than the normal kitchen sets and it is dead handy for dealing with big quantities! 4lb of fruit? Room to spare!

Recipe states to wipe with a dry cloth. It transpires that the furriness comes off! 


All of our recipes for these came from the same book. This was a charity shop find a few years back, and a must buy for its extensive selection of preserving techniques. It covers everything from jams to wines, drying and smoking to chutneys and pickles. It also has a lovely, very extensive, section on home freezing, clearly written for a generation where a freezer was a gadget not an essential.

ISBN 0330255630

The results (in iphone panorama form)!

12 comments:

  1. The days when canning consumed the kitchen are wonderful memories...I really enjoyed your post.

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    1. Thanks. We did have good fun doing it all :)

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  2. Since we had no harvest to speak of this year, we have no preserves. I am suffering from severe pantry envy!

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    1. It's the first time we've done this for a couple of years, a full pantry is a very good feeling :)

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  3. Wonderful. That lot should keep you supplied over winter.

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    1. We're very hopeful it will, but we're already eating them with enthusiasm :)

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  4. This is a great post. A lot of bloggers say, "I'll be using this glut to make jams etc." but never actually show you how they do it, so its fun to see the cookery side to it as well as the actual growing it part!

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    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting. We kept almost forgetting to photograph things so glad we got a post together in the end :)

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  5. What an enjoyable post, it made me hungry and jealous just reading it. I'm over from Jo's where you are blog of the month, well worth the visit.xxxx

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    1. Thanks for visiting,, I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  6. Looks delicious and great you won't have to buy from the shops!

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    1. Thanks. It should hopefully keep us going for a while.

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