Sunday, February 7, 2010

Holiday preserves

Now that the boys are back at school we can take stock of what we have put into the preserves cupboard over the summer holiday break.

The boys loved labelling their own jars of jam

The pantry has been stocked with bottled cherries, blood plums and peaches.  The boys have made their own tomato sauce and we have made some chilli tomato sauce for Mum and Dad. We have range of jams to see us through the year - cherry and apple, blackberry, plum and apricot jam.  The kids have been taking it in turns of making their own cordial - a great way to show them how much sugar is in cordial and why it is a drink for special occasions and not all the time. Most was made from local fresh fruit and the whole process has had all the kids thoroughly engaged in the process of preserving their own food.

We bottled the cherries in apple juice this year - on sampling a small bottle they taste great and will be lovely in the heart of an Orange winter when available local fruit varieties are fewer.

Our preserves cupboard

We wait eagerly to see what the next batch of seasonal fruit is in the Orange district to further fill our cupboard.


  1. I am really interested in preserving but have never been game to try it (worried I'll waste lots of good food) so have never graduated from jam making!
    Could you possibly point me to a good webite (with easy to understand instructions!) on preserving?
    Thanks and love the blog.

  2. Glad you like the blog.

    About preserving fruit etc.... My mother was a legend at preserving when I was a kid. I was the oldest of 6 kids and over our summer break we were a preserving factory... we did enough bottled fruit and tomatoes for the year, along with jam and sauce... so we never really got to experience bought canned foods much at all.

    I use the Fowlers Vacola methods and equipment... I have an old stove top preserver but you can get new electric preservers now.. the website The Urban Food Garden ( a good comparison... I can't find easy to follow methods on the web but the Fowler's preserving books are easy to track down (I have a relatively new one and also one from my hubbies Grandmother)and if you get a kit you will get a book with it.

    I love the idea of bottling cherries when they are plentiful so that I can have cherry pie or the like in the cold of winter. I have trialled bottling my fruit in apple juice instead of sugar syrup this year.. and after a couple of taste tests this seems to be good... Also much less waste generated as I buy fruit locally and re-use my preserving jars - I have also been given extra jars since posting this story - so there are probably many sitting unused in boxes in sheds.... might be worth asking around locally...