Sunday, March 22, 2015

What a super busy year

This year has been amazing in my preserving kitchen. Which is the same as my regular kitchen.... but you know what I mean.
With new friends and new groups has come new food and recipes and ideas!

I have made for the first time ever:
Grape Jelly (gifted Shiraz grapes from a local winery)
CrabApple Jelly (foraged crab apples from our local park)
Cabernet Merlot jelly (left over wine.... yes it can happen!!!)
Apple Juice (thankyou steam juicer I love you)
Apple and Blackberry pie filling(foraged fruit in return for picking some for others)

The list doesn't actuallg end there. This week will be Apple Mint Jelly and Apple Rosehip syrup. And possibly Apple Chutney.

There are more apples and soon quinces and pears and possibly other things.

It's rather hard to beleive I have been so blessed!

My pantry is overflowing with fruit goodness and I have had such a fabulous time with it all.

This week just gone it was a number of loads of apple butter and 15 jars of strawberry jam.

I will need to photograph all my full jars at some stage and probably keep a decent list so I know how many of which things I have made and how many we go through in the year so I can plan for next season.

So much fun!

How has all your preserving been?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Oh how bright the capsicums look!

Today I'm doing pasta sauce again. I say again despite the last time being four (or was it five??) years ago. It has been far too long!

I'm following the recipe from

Once all the veg is chopped and starting to boil it looks like this!!! I ran half the tomatoes through my food mill first this time in an effort to smooth out the sauce to meet with hubby's tastes.

This is what's left after simmering for approximately 3 hours. I'm hoping this will work out at the least cost even with commercial sauces.

I'm using my electric Fowlers preserving kit as my waterbath today. It frees up my stove for more pots. And because it runs essentially like a kettle it boils faster than the pot on my stove.

As you can see there is the unit boiling away while dinner cooks on the stove.

And there are the jars out and cooling.

I had a friend around today who was helping me chop and learning how to do her own sauce. The recycled jars are hers and the Fowlers jars are mine.

My count is 8 jars of sauce from my batch. As per the recipe that was 5 kgs of tomatoes, 4 capsicums, 5 onions, some herbs and spices and salt and sugar and the all-important squeeze of bottled lemon juice in the top of each jar prior to the water bath.

Not including electricity costs this was a total of $16 (including the price of new jar rings for my jars).

These are 600ml jars... at $2 each. This is the equivalent of a jar of commercial sauce on special.... but better as there is much less sugar and salt, no thickener or preservative and i know exactly what went in it!

Insert happy dance here!

Friday, January 16, 2015

I've been busy!

Managed to do some more bottling! Its stone fruit season and although i have no producing trees of my own i have been gifted fruit from my lovely in laws and various neighbours.

Apricots and nectarines followed some plums. I made jam with the first round of plums and have bottled the apricots and nectarines in water.

I have another round b of plums to convert into jam and plum sauce over the next few days and after that, peaches will be ready!

It feels fabulous to be getting back into it again. My pantry is looking happy and I'm gearing up for a big tomato round in early February. Cant wait to have a cupboard full of home made pasta sauce and salsa again!