Tag Archives: jam

Preserving with Petal #gdnbloggers

 

There hasn’t been much preserving in a while. Whilst fruit has been harvested and safely stowed in a freezer, the plot hasn’t been all that productive over 2016-2017. The tomatoes took their time to arrive and when they did, it was a case of battling blight and removing fruit from the vine in the hope that they would ripen at home.  The puddle of tomatoes this year may not have been as big as last years, but there was a puddle nonetheless.  This had to be used, to be preserved. Whilst there has been homebrew-it is sitting aside quite comfortably-there had been no jamming, jellying and chutney-ing for a while. This would have to change.

The puddle would form the basis of preserves as Petal and I played with the preserving pan.

My first endeavour was chutney, of the green tomato variety. Last year, I dabbled with adding apple and pears, so I decided to repeat the feat with this years experiments. My first batch of chutney, involved the green tomatoes, alongside Falstaff apples and also using the abundance of fenugreek that Mum’s plot has produced. That gives you three different flavours and textures that somehow have to amalgamate together to a suitable counterpoint that brings the whole thing together. I had forgotten, how long it actually takes to chop up all the ingredients and how there is the propensity to make a mess in Mama F’s kitchen. You can have hundreds of green tomatoes, all of varying sizes that need to be chopped up, then there is the apples that have to be defrosted and chopped too. On the surface of it, this could be a drag. Until that is, you stick your ear phones in, develop a technique and hear the muffled words “Punam, I’ll help you, it will be quicker then, and there won’t be a mess.’

Like I could refuse an offer like that.

It was quite therapeutic to make the first batch; with more tomatoes coming and blight about to hit middle earth, it was soon time to make a second batch. I had more jam jars by this point too, by way of preparation. This second batch was simpler and not so fruity in being courgette and green tomato. I forget if I have made this combination before, but it seemed a good idea at the time. It never ceases to amaze me, when rummaging around the pantry of all the different things that could be used. Mustard seeds, be they black or white, will give you an intense ‘curry’ flavour. So when I get asked, did I put curry in the chutney, I have to tut, shake my head a little. Onions, might be used as base, but this flavour changes if you add onion seeds. I don’t put garam masala in-it’s got too many variables-so I take one variable and use that, i.e. coriander, be it seeds or powder.

To make chutney, is an interesting experiment.

As well green tomatoes, there was and is a stash of plums and apples in the freezer. Pounds and pounds have been amassed, so to make jam was the next step.

One of the first flavours that I ever made was plum and apple; named person-centered (it was a some point during a counselling course that I made it) this was calling to me to be made once again. I would be making this alone though, Mama who is usually the production manager would be at school.  The plums were ripe-oh, there is song there-so low pectin, and the apples were cored and peeled. There would have to be lemons or powdered pectin used; I went with the lemons and then stood on a stool at the stove to watch the preserving pan.

It didn’t half smell nice, as everything cooked down and the 104 setting point was encountered. Potting it all up was systematic, has to be done while it is all hot, and soon I I had over a dozen jars. Not bad for five pounds of fruit, but I still have quite a few more. I suspect there will be more preserving over the autumn term,

Preserving, I have missed; Petal and I might have to do some more.

 

Jam, jellied: the kit

image

When you too many courgettes, and you don’t want to so much as curry one. You have to think of alternatives. Last year was the first time that I made a foray into jams and chutneys. I had wibbly ones, spicy ones, one that set like Concrete. There was a lot of experiments. Especially when I had tomatoes by the tonne.

I soon realised that if I had a proper pan-nothing wrong with mum’s big Dahl pot, except  When you might burn it and have to scrub it-the whole process might be easier. I found the maslin jam pan, funnel and spoon as a bargain special buy. It’s a big pan, and at times I do struggle with getting a “rollicking boil’. I also has a jam thermometer as I can never get the cold plate Wrinkle test right. I tend to panic when I don’t get the setting point of 104 degrees c. That is a deliberate figure, the setting point of jam.

Santa Claus did also deliver me jelly straining kit. Have yet to use it,

So no photo yet. You could always use suspended clean. Sterilised muslin. The same as the one I use for home brew.

I am far from being an expert preserver. I nearly cried when I burned the bottom of the pan with blackberry jam. Thought the pan was a goner.

Jammin’ a la Aunty Lorraine

There are brambles to the side of Project Othello that have been chopped back a bit. There are not many folks on the site who pick them, but today I jointed another plot person to pick some. The plan was to make Aunty Lorraine’s blackberry jam:

20130822-043836 PM.jpg

So we found about a 1lb of blackberries . Braving the brambles and the thorns.

20130822-043931 PM.jpg

20130822-043944 PM.jpg

20130822-043956 PM.jpg

And the wrestled with the recipe. I don’t have a jam thermometer, so had to the saucer test where it actually set immediately.

20130822-044056 PM.jpg

20130822-044109 PM.jpg

As lovely as it is, some of it has set like concrete. Will have to try again!

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit