Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Preserving the bounty

Picking raspberries (again!) in sunlight with bees busy in the last of the flowers, disturbing overlarge spiders grown fat for winter. My plans for the freezer thwarted, therein lies number 2 son's stash - pizza and milk.

Raspberry Vinegar
500ml cider vinegar
1.5kg raspberries
Put raspberries and vinegar in a bowl and leave for 3 days, stirring occasionally. Mash well and strain through a jelly bag. Allow 450g sugar to each 500ml of liquid, mix together and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil slowly, stirring well, then simmer for 20 minutes. Skim and leave until cold, pour into screw top bottles and seal

A teaspoon of raspberry vinegar in a glass of water, recommended as a cooling drink to sooth a cold or fever (Mary Norwak 1978 Book of home preserving)

Bonfires and picking apples, disturbing earwigs and looking out for angry wasps

All this bounty makes work. It's satisfying when everything starts growing and I gaze proudly at our garden, then reality hits, either I let the fruit rot or I preserve it . . . NOW! 

It just won't wait for me. On the other hand I could just grow flowers and get down to the supermarket and buy stuff.

Apple Chutney
2lb apples
1lb onions
*1 lg red pepper
3/4lb sugar
1/2pt vinegar
**1-2 tsp ground ginger

Slice onions finely. Peel, core and chop apples (but not too small), place in a pan with the vinegar and bring to the boil. Add sugar and spice and stir well until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to stand for 4 or 5 hours (or overnight). Bring to the boil again, keep stirring, before pouring into clean Kilner or screw top jars. Leave for two weeks before eating.

*yellow and orange are also fine
** any pickle spice can be used.

A quick scout along the drunken hedge means we'll have plenty of sloe gin for winter, ummm

The weather has been all over the place this week, rain, sun, grey skies and now bathed in sunlight. It makes the colours in the garden look spectacular.

Today I have a little shadow, she scratches about my feet searching out tasty morsels

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