Thursday, 15 October 2015

Preserving the Seasons

This month, and indeed most of last month has been all about preserving.  Taking what grew this Summer preserving it during Autumn, to be eaten in Winter .... and hopefully if successful and tasty it will be grown again next Summer.

Fed up with jams I turned my attention to Bread and Butter Pickle last week just before the onions ran out, indeed this was why the onions ran out.  I've never made this before but it was so simple, I'll definitely be making it again.

Here's the recipe I used from the same Preserves book I've used for lots of my jams etc  (it's proving to be worth every penny this book).  If you click on the photo to enlarge it you will see it says '6 cucumbers (about 800g) thinly sliced',  my homegrown cucumbers were pretty big so I just got three out of the fridge, and got the other ingredients ready, then I weighed the cucumbers, the first one I put on the scales weighed just over 1kg all by itself .... it seems I'm growing whoppers this year ;-)

So I decided to double up on all the other ingredients and make a bigger batch of pickle.

It was such an easy recipe and well worth doing, there's not many ways I can think of to preserve cucumbers for eating long after the growing season is over.  These six jars have added nicely to the store cupboard for the Winter days ahead.  I believe from reading around that it's called Bread and Butter Pickle because that's what it is traditionally eaten with.  Just the pickle on it's own with some good bread and butter.  Nice simple food ... my favourite sort.

Forging on .....

... next I took one 'courgette' and decided to make a batch of Marrow and Ginger Jam.

Making this highlights the amount of sugar used in jam making nicely, as the only ingredients are marrow, sugar, ginger and lemon juice ..... only I forgot the lemon juice!!

You simply peel and then chop the marrow,  mix it with the sugar and then leave it covered with a teatowel in the fridge overnight, by morning the sugar has brought out the moisture in the marrow and covered each piece with lots of little glistening crystals, it looks beautiful ... maybe it was admiring this beauty that made me totally forget to add the lemon juice.

All you do next is add the roughly chopped ginger in a muslin bag and heat slowly until the sugar all dissolves, then bring to the boil and keep at a rolling boil until you reach and stay at jam temperature.

Anyway I didn't even realise there was no lemon in there until I gave the bit in the bowl a taste ..... yep ... it's sweet.

But I soon found a way to enjoy it .... as a fruit corner, the tartness of the yogurt balances it out nicely ..... phew!!

Labelled and ready for the cupboard.

It's been a busy couple of weeks, but opening the cupboard door and standing and admiring all my handiwork makes it all worthwhile.

Sue xx


  1. I have done that before with lemon so when I got one the next day added it to the tipped out jam, washed jars, put them back in the oven, brought the jam back to hot and filled the jars. It did make the difference in taste.

  2. Well bugger me!! I never knew that one of my favourites was known as bread & butter pickle! In my version of this I omit everything else apart from cucumber, onions, salt, pepper and I pickle it in jars in Malt vinegar. I find it delicious on cheese sandwiches and as I'm typing this I'm actually salivating!!

  3. I've bought cheap oranges to make marmalade tomorrow as I can't muster the energy. I have 4 large bags of blackberries in the freezer too for jam. I will try more pickles next year.

  4. That marrow and ginger jam ! Wow ! The colour is stunning.
    I'm off to find a recipe for that ! xxx...x

    1. And to add. Your bread and butter pickle also looks fab !

  5. Big bread and butter pickle fan here too! Just done a freezer inventory and discovered a ton of fruit that will turned into chutneys in the next few days. I seem to have a backlog of jam as no one is eating it any more!

  6. Ooh that pickle looks yummy! I grew cucumbers for the first time this year - I can hardly believe how much nicer they are - they actually taste of something, although I did have to peel the prickly skin off. I am ashamed to admit I used to love Cubitt's relish with a cheese sandwich, but I'm quite sure your pickle is much nicer! X

  7. bread and butter pickles are my favorite....the recipe I use is almost identical to your's with the addition of green peppers and a pinch of clove....didn't have enough cuks this year....we ate them as fast as they developed! Jan

  8. There is something wonderful about opening the doors and seeing all the good solid work that you did.

  9. Can we all applaud? What a wonderful job you have done with the preserving. I'm not familiar with the "Marrow", and have no idea what that is. Does sound like you put in a lot of effort to make this jam, and I do love bread and butter pickles!

  10. Mm, another lovely sounding recipe Sue. What book is it that you are using?

    1. I've been using the Book of Preserves, Women's Institute ofr most of my preserving this year. It's a brilliant all rounder. It's on the Amazon linky thing on the sidebar so you can nip over there and have a read about it for yourself.

  11. Bread and butter pickles are very popular over here. Along with dill pickles they probably have the most shelf space in the grocery store pickle dept. Apparently during the depression they made these pickles after they had finished eating fresh cucumber during the summer, The rest they made into pickles and made them into sandwiches during the winter when they had nothing else. They are very popular for all kinds of sandwiches and especially on hamburgers. Delish. Your jam looks really good too. I didn't get any zucchini this year, they were all boys:(


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