Tuesday, September 19, 2006

catching up

We have been pretty busy with our allotment in the last few weeks. One of the things we have been thinking about is food storage. We have decided that if we think it is unethical to import tinned fruit from miles around the globe, we ought to make more effort to store our own. Further, we decided that our freezer should be used to store meat and that we should experiment with other forms of fruit storage.

This is our first experiment with fruit bottling. My mum had some very old kilner jars and we used them to bottle some of her damsons (that is the big one at the back). We also pureed some apples from the allotment (crop number 3!) and some bought peaches which we have bottled in more modern versions from Lakeland. They always seem to sell these on a 2-for-1 deal but they go off by the time we want to eat them.

We used the dry oven method to sterilise. In brief, you clean the jars in hot water and stick them upside-down in the oven at 150 degrees c and forget about them for a bit. Then you make up some syrup, put the fruit into the (very hot) jars and pour over the syrup. You have to stew the apple and add it to the jars when really hot. You then leave the whole thing in the oven for about an hour. Afterwards you leave to cool and the seal is formed as that happens.

It seemed to work quite well, I guess we'll have to see.


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