This time of year when I'm busy bottling, jamming, freezing and preserving all our crops in all the various ways we use tends to bring lots of questions on the blog. Unfortunately, it's obviously also the time of the year that I am at my busiest trying to keep up with the gluts of fruits and veggies and make the best use of them that I can .... so sometimes I feel guilty that I can't get round to answering.
The photo above is this mornings Plum and Apple Jelly cooling on the rack with the labels ready written for when the jars are cold enough to stick them on.
It makes for a glorious coloured jelly.
I was asked the other day how I learnt to do all that I do and it's been mostly from books, and also the selection of Dvds that we have. We have most of the River Cottage books, usually picked up when we've been there and signed by the authors when we met them, and also the Jamie at Home book that I have, and his accompanying Dvd's are brilliant for what to do with your harvests as they come pouring in all at once.
Every year the books come back out and a quick revision by watching 'Pam the Jam' preserve all her fruits makes for a relaxing and inspiring couple of hours.
I found a couple of brand new boxes of jam jars in the understairs cupboard yesterday, so some of them were quickly pressed into action for this mornings cook up.
The other half were sterilised alongside the ones I used and then lidded and popped back into the box, ready for the next session, when they will obviously be sterilised again as you need the jars hot to pour the hot jam into.
So I'm sorry if I miss the occasional question, but my advice would be to submerge yourself in books, watch programmes and YouTube videos to see techniques in action and well, just enjoy preserving this lovely food that is around now. Whether you grow it yourself, forage in the countryside or get the fantastic bargains that are to be had at Farmers Markets, shops or supermarkets, this is the time of year of plenty and it's great to make the most of it .... well until you collapse on the sofa absolutely exhausted ... which is exactly what I do most nights these days :-)