Monday 5 September 2016

Preserving the Crops

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  :-)

Sue xx 


  1. Ah yes. The importance of pouring hot jam into hot jars. Let's just say my first attempt at redcurrant jelly this year was not entirely successful...

  2. Lovely hubby looks a bit of a pin up in the previous post

  3. Still working on tomatoes here. I really do hope to be done these soon. Then it will be on to the eggplant and the green peppers.

    God bless.

  4. Preserving is one of my most favourite things to do.

  5. I LOVE River Cottage, Pam, Hugh and John! Ahh bliss. I have the DVD and hoping for the book at Christmas :) Pam replies on Twitter frequently, she seems a lovely lady.

  6. There was a time when we froze all our produce or made it into jam or pickles. But I no longer do it now - we have grassed over our veggie garden and we found that we no longer particularly enjoyed jam. I must say yours all looks delicious Sue.

  7. Your jams and jellies look delicious. I curious how you use the tops for the jams that look like previously used? maybe their not but it looks like Maman ? jam jars. Also, my jars are never super hot when I preserve( like for applesauce ) is there a reason and do you keep them in the hot water?? i do a waterbath for 20-30 minutes after filling?

    1. I reuse undamaged tops, but also have a good stock of new ones. Our local traditional kitchenware shop sells lids that fit Bonne Maman jars 😊

    2. Oh and I meant to add, I use the jars straight from the bottom oven of the Aga, so they are piping hot.

    3. I would love to have an Aga !!!!

  8. i had some disastrous results when i tried to preserve many years ago & have never tried since.
    your preserves look wonderful!
    thanx for sharing


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