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6 January 2012

Sugar Plums


The last of the plums are almost gone from our beautiful trees!



We have spent this week madly picking, eating and preserving them.

We had been eagerly pouring over the home canning books with 
anticipation.  Last Summer I made a wonderful relish and some truly 
delicious jams and chutneys. And what a pantry we had last Winter!


this morning's breakfast

This year it's Onionz Limone ChutneyAsian Plum SauceBlood Plum 
& Vanilla JamCherry-Plum Jam, Cherry-Plum & Raspberry Jam,
reminds me of my childhood pantry :), Plum StreudelUpside-Down 
Cake and the most delicious German Plum Cake from a family recipe!


For those of you enjoying a Summer harvest, here's the relish recipe-

Plum Relish

2 lb cooking apples
1 lb onions
1 lb seedless raisins
3lb red plums
2 1/2 cups malt vinegar
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp each ground ginger, 
cayenne pepper and dry mustard
1 tbs salt
1 tbs allspice
1 tsp cloves
1 cup brown sugar

Wash and sterilise jars. (If you have not preserved 
fruit before, it's easy to do, but please visit this site
for more information and further safety specifics.)

Peel and core the apples, chop finely. Peel and
chop the onions. Place the apples and onion in
separate saucepans, add 1 tablespoon water to
each and simmer, covered, until soft and pulpy.

Chop the raisins, stone and chop the plums.
Place raisins, plums, apples and onions in a 
cooking pan. Add 1 1/4 cups of the vinegar,
and the ground spices and the salt to the pan. 

Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer
very gently, uncovered, stirring frequently,
for 45 minutes. Add remaining vinegar and
sugar continue cooking as before for a further 
45 minutes to 1 hour or until thickened. 

Ladle into sterilized jars and seal while hot.

Water bath jars for 20 minutes, label and store in a 
cool dark place. Should keep 12 months or more. 

So good on bread with cheese!

Recipe from Preserves and Pickles by Alison Burt 
(Octopus Books 1973)

It's plums aplenty here, but not only plums in our pantry...

this afternoon's harvest

Carrot Cake Jam and Golden Gossip Chutney are tomorrow's mission
since I've just picked this wonderful bounty of heirlooms carrots.

And there are red onions & green tomatoes ready to use too, so perhaps
Good Ole' Green Tomato Chutney will be hitting the stovetop next week.


Indeed this is somewhat how our kitchen looks this Summer ↓

from the delightful Bramley Hedge's 'Autumn Story' 
image found via this lovely post

...only rather less pretty than Mr & Mrs Mouse's (and rather more messy).


I've spent the last few days (and much of 2011) madly researching the
Fine Art of Preserving via my books and the many wonderfully delicious
(and well-researched) canning blogs and sites scattered across the web.

(I've listed my favourite links in the column to the left of my blog under Kitchencraft.)

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
available here from Amazon

If you're keen to give preserving a shot, I'd advise you to refer 
to this invaluable site first, for specific guidelines and advice ↓

National Centre For Home Food Preservation (US)

and if you don't have your own fruit or veg at the ready

this site:  Pick Your Own (Australia)

can offer links to orchards in your area (there's a US site too)
plus plenty of recipes and advice on home canning & preserving.




Preserving is a most rewarding and delicious endeavour
& really quite easy once you understand the methods involved.

xoxox

1 comment:

  1. I love the shirt with the camel picture, so funky!

    ReplyDelete