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    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 16th Jan 09, 8:21 AM
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    The Preserver's Year
    • #1
    • 16th Jan 09, 8:21 AM
    The Preserver's Year 16th Jan 09 at 8:21 AM
    Preserver’s Calendar

    This is a month by month guide to when fruit (and some veg) are at their best and what you can be making with it. I haven’t included imported produce except for Seville oranges. The joy of preserving is in using up seasonal abundance. Make the most of farm shops, PYOs and free hedgerow and garden fruit. Bear in mind that this is just a rough guide sometimes harvests will be earlier, later, shorter or longer, and will depend on where you live.

    JanuarySeville oranges, apples (cookers and eaters), forced pink rhubarb

    Make marmalade. You can also make a liqueur with the juice of Seville oranges, brandy and sugar. Chutney can be made with the apples, winter veg and dried fruits.

    February-Seville oranges, apples (cookers and eaters), forced pink rhubarb

    Instead of marmalade try making a jelly from the oranges –no cutting up peel, or what about Seville orange curd?

    March- Forced pink rhubarb

    A bleak month for the preserver. Imported citrus fruits are still good, cheer yourself up with some curds: lemon, orange, grapefruit or use up the last of the stored Bramleys for apple and lemon curd. Make jam from tinned apricots and peaches.

    April – Field rhubarb (the ordinary green stuff)

    Try a cordial made from rhubarb to dilute with fizzy water, or make it into jam –it’s good with ginger. Or an alcoholic drink like rhubarb vodka. Make chutneys with exotic fruit like mangos, kiwis and pineapple

    May –Elderflowers, rhubarb and the first strawberries

    Elderflower cordial is a must. You can also make elderflower champagne. Strawberries obviously make gorgeous jam, but there’s still time in the season for that. Rhubarb and strawberries combine well.

    June – Elderflowers, gooseberries, cherries, rhubarb and strawberries

    Elderflower and gooseberries are a match made in heaven, make elderflower and gooseberry jam. Now is the time to start off Hodgekin, or rumtopf as it is usually called. Hodgekin is our English version of fruits steeped in alcohol –brandy, rum or other spirits. Begin it with the early strawberries and cherries and add soft fruits as they come into season until October. Enjoy at Christmas.

    July –Blackcurrants, redcurrants, cherries, gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums
    Cucumber, beetroot

    Now’s the time to crank up the jam factory – blackcurrant, raspberry, strawberry. Also make jelly from redcurrants. Cordials are excellent made from blackcurrants (think of Ribena) but you can also use other berries too. Or, make them into liqueurs or ‘shrubs’. Raspberry vinegar is good.
    Cucumber or ‘bread and butter’ pickles are easy and delicious. Make beetroot relish or pickles too.

    August – New season eating apples, crab apples, blackberries, blueberries, figs, greengages, plums, elderberries, rowanberries, raspberries, strawberries, hazelnuts, runner beans, tomatoes, peppers, sweetcorn

    Make crab apple jelly which can be flavoured with herbs. Blackberry jam, jelly and whisky. Try fruit leathers (a homemade version of those horrible ‘fruit winders’) blackberry and apple work well or make it with other fruits earlier in the summer. Pickle and spice some plums.
    Make your own dried tomatoes and ketchup. Start using up vegetable gluts in chutney. Runner beans can be pickled or made into relish and chutney. Make sweetcorn relish to serve at your barbecue.

    September –Apples (cookers, eaters and crabs), blackberries, hedgerow berries (rosehips, haws, elderberries, bullaces, sloes), damsons, plums, pears, quinces, autumn raspberries, strawberries, beans, tomatoes, courgettes, marrows, pickling onions, peppers, chilli peppers, hazelnuts

    Make chilli jelly, pickled onions, hedgerow jelly, quince jelly, quince cheese, quince vodka/brandy, damson chutney, damson jam, damson cheese and damson gin. Pears can be spiced and pickled for eating with cold meat at Christmas. Make rosehip syrup, rowan jelly and pontack sauce from elderberries.

    October- Apples (cookers and eaters), chestnuts, chilli peppers, hedgerow berries, quince, japonicas, autumn raspberries, pickling onions

    Make what you didn’t have time to make in September.

    November –Apples (cookers and eaters), chestnuts, autumn raspberries

    Not much around but time to make your mincemeat. Make some onion marmalade or some exotic fruit curds like passionfruit or lime.

    December –There are still apples about

    Sample all your damson gin, quince vodka, raspberry shrub and Hodgekin! The chutneys made in August/September should be ready to eat.

    Of course there are loads more delicious things you can make through the year. There are already threads about ‘how to’ make jam so I thought this one could be more of a ‘what I am making now’ thread where we can share ideas and recipes and inspire each other.

    Edit: Whilst I make quite a lot of these things I haven't made them all by any means. The list is intended as a reminder of what you can be making through the year.

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply! Thanks to thriftlady for this thread.

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    Last edited by Former MSE Zorica; 07-07-2015 at 5:34 PM.
Page 2
    • NoahsPennilessMummy
    • By NoahsPennilessMummy 16th Jan 09, 8:32 PM
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    What a great idea! I have just spent an hour juicing and shredding oranges ready to make my marmalade tomorrow
    Have never made it before.
    I have the River Cottage preserve book too and its fab
  • Happyroly
    Advice please - I am intending to buy the River Cottage book BUT if you were only allowed to have one book on preserves which one would you choose/recommend?
    Thank you.
    • *zippy*
    • By *zippy* 17th Jan 09, 12:05 AM
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    Happyroly I bought Marguerite Patten's The Basic Basics Jams, Preserves and Chutneys, seems a good all rounder for a beginner like myself.

    I Borrowed the river cottage preserves book from the library last week and there were some nice recipes in it so will probably buy that one too.
    • Penelope Penguin
    • By Penelope Penguin 17th Jan 09, 8:44 AM
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    Penelope Penguin
    Advice please - I am intending to buy the River Cottage book BUT if you were only allowed to have one book on preserves which one would you choose/recommend?
    Thank you.
    Originally posted by Happyroly
    I'm facing the same dilemma Take a look at this thread where there are lots of recommendations and opinions - Preserves book.

    Penny. x
    Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding
    • NoahsPennilessMummy
    • By NoahsPennilessMummy 17th Jan 09, 9:33 AM
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    I`d go for the River Cottage one...but then again I am a bit of a Hugh fan .

    I have my peel on simmer for 2 hours at the mo for my marmalade.....doing all that peel last night was hard work but am hoping it will be worth it!!
    • thriftmonster
    • By thriftmonster 17th Jan 09, 9:34 AM
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    This is my rough calendar (see notes at end)

    January: Seville orange marmalade

    February: Lemon and lime marmalade, St Benoit marmalade (made in memory of the day in Feb 2000 my dad had a heart bypass and to pass the time waiting for the phone call from my Mum to say all was ok I made 3 different lots of marmalade - we were eating it for years - BTW my dad is still fine)

    March: Onion relish

    April: Rhubarb and fig jam, rhubarb chutney, rhubarb vodka

    May: Gooseberry gin, pickled beetroot (or whenever I see it in the greengrocers)

    June: Strawberry and goosegog jam, corn relish (it's made with frozen corn but I make it now for the summer), south seas chutney, spicy mango pickle (last two to deal with mangoes I get directly from Africa via a local church)
    July: Apricot/ cherry brandy, ratatouille chutney, redcurrant jelly (if I can beat the birds)

    August: Spiced pickled runner beans, blackcurrant jam, raspberry jam, Cucumber relish, bread and butter pickles, raspberry vinegar, creme de cassis

    September: Bramble and apple jelly, mint and apple jelly, blackberry chutney, damson gin, damson jam, blackberry ketchup, crab apple jelly, elderberry syrup

    October: Rowan jelly plus finish off September, toffee vodka, chilli sherry (HM tabasco)

    November: Spicy orange chutney, pickled red cabbage,

    December: Emergency marmalade supplies for hampers

    I make some things all year round - orange and grapefruit marmalade (Mamade), tomato ketchup, Eastern chutney for dh (orange and date), pickled onions (because my greengrocer keeps them all year), lemon curd for pressies, tomato and apple chutney (tinned tomatoes).

    Looking forward to seeing others

    Last edited by thriftmonster; 25-01-2009 at 5:42 PM.
    “the princess jumped from the tower & she learned that she could fly all along. she never needed those wings.”
    Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in this One
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 17th Jan 09, 9:54 AM
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    I`d go for the River Cottage one...but then again I am a bit of a Hugh fan .
    Originally posted by NoahsPennilessMummy
    It isn't actually by Hugh, it's by Pam Corbin I recommend it. Another of my favourites is Quick and Easy Preserves by Simone Sekers, it is out of print but copies can be bought cheaply on amazon. Good Housekeeping do a pretty comprehesive one too.

    Thriftmonster I love your calendar Perversely I like all the things that aren't seasonal. It is great to have a collection of recipes you can make at any time of the year using exotic fruit or tinned produce.

    I mentioned jam out of tinned apricots and peaches, I've also made jam from frozen summer berries. Mamade is great for when you're hm supplies have run out early.

    I used to have a fantastic recipe for chutney made from dried apricots, red onions and mustard seeds which I got from the BBC Good Food mag years ago. Wish I still had it.
    • NoahsPennilessMummy
    • By NoahsPennilessMummy 17th Jan 09, 10:20 AM
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    yes I know it is not by Hugh, I have the book, but it is part of the River Cottage series.

    I also have a book called Preserving by Oded Shwartz which I got for 50p at a charity shop which is good and has some unusual ones in it.
    • twink
    • By twink 17th Jan 09, 10:52 AM
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    Thriftmonster i would love to get the recipe for tomato and apple chutney using tinned tomatoes if it wasnt too much bother
    • thriftmonster
    • By thriftmonster 17th Jan 09, 12:52 PM
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    Hi Twink,

    Tomato and apple chutney - based on a Ballymaloe recipe by Darina Allen

    10 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes (in metric the original was 3.6kg - so I use 10 x 400g tins of value chopped tomatoes - the extra one to make up for being tinned )
    1lb onions, chopped
    1lb apples, peeled and chopped (the original says eating but I use whatever I have in - good for wrinklies in the fruit bowl)
    3lb sugar
    1.5 pts white malt vinegar (can use brown if stuck)
    2tbsp salt
    2tsp ground ginger
    3tsp ground black pepper (or 60 turns of the pepper mill)
    3tsp allspice
    4 garlic cloves, squashed
    1 lvl tsp cayenne
    8-12oz sultanas

    Stick it all together into a preserving pan and simmer till reduced and a chutney consistency (I use the wooden spoon not leaving a trail of vinegar). Pot and leave for at least 2 weeks (I usually go for a standard 6 weeks maturing as a minimum). Should make 8-10lbs. This has been a popular choice amongst my hamper recipients

    “the princess jumped from the tower & she learned that she could fly all along. she never needed those wings.”
    Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in this One
    • steerpike
    • By steerpike 17th Jan 09, 1:00 PM
    • 126 Posts
    • 400 Thanks
    Home preserving...What a lovely thread.
    Made elderberry and bramble port with foraged fruit last year, Elderberry and clove cordial ( very cheap but effective cough mixture - very warming) and raspberry vodka courtsey of Sainsburys selling soft fruit off at 10p per punnet on New Years Eve .

    Am planning to make blackberry cordial as soon as I get enough bottles.

    I still have a large bucketful of wild apples - too sour to eat even though they have softened up and gone golden....does anyone have any ideas what these could be use for please? I have a recipe for crab apple jelly but what do you do with it once its made?

    The elderflower cordial sound lovely - might have a go this year
  • chazbee
    can I freeze oranges ?
    hi folks - after success in my first lot of preserving last year (blackberry jam) I want to have a go at more this year.
    Now, I know seville oranges are in the shops at the moment, but can I freeze them and use them later? The reason I'm asking is that I'm going into hospital next week, and will be out of action for a few weeks, by which time s*ds law says the oranges will be gone!
    • thriftmonster
    • By thriftmonster 17th Jan 09, 1:02 PM
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    Steerpike - I'm glad I'm not the only one with elderberry and clove cordial - my kids think I'm evil but it really does work.

    Yes you can freeze oranges but you will need about 10% extra for the recipe
    “the princess jumped from the tower & she learned that she could fly all along. she never needed those wings.”
    Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in this One
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 17th Jan 09, 1:05 PM
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    Steerpike the apples will be good made into chutney Jelly is a fairly effortless option because you don't need to peel and core them. Use your recipe for crab apple jelly. We eat this on toast at breakfast or as an accompaniment to roast pork. It is also good brushed on pork chops or added to marinades for pork or sausages-anything that tastes good with apple really. I often put a spoonful in gravy. Add herbs to it -sage, rosemary, mint, thyme.
  • Happyroly
    Thanks for the advice/recommendations, I will get the River Cottage one and keep my eye out for the others mentioned.
    I had a look in the library and charity shop this morning but didn't find any book dedicated to preserves.
  • Hardup Hester
    Thanks for starting this thread Thriftlady, it will will remind me what I'm meant to be doing
    I freeze my oranges so I can make mamalade during half term.

    Never let success go to your head, never let failure go to your heart.
  • lbt
    I have never made any preserves before and I'd love to give it a go - particularly a red onion relish or something similar.

    Where do you all buy your supplies from? Lakeland have lots of lovely things but I don't want to buy anything I don't need. What are the basics that I will need?

  • lbt
    Thriftmonster, would it be possible for you to post your onion relish recipe if you have a free minute? I want to start with a tried and tested recipe.
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 17th Jan 09, 3:11 PM
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    Where do you all buy your supplies from? Lakeland have lots of lovely things but I don't want to buy anything I don't need. What are the basics that I will need?

    Originally posted by lbt
    Well, a preserving pan is great to have if you're going to do a lot of preserving but you can get away with using a very large saucepan.It does need to be large though because boiling jam needs a lot of room.

    If you want to make jellies than a jelly bag and stand makes life easy unless you want to faff about with upturned chairs and cloths.

    Other than that you just need a supply of jars -reuse them, lids-likewise and waxed discs which you can get from Lakeland or other kitchen shops. Get some sticky labels for labelling your finished preserve with date and contents.

    I find a jam funnel useful for filling pots with minimum mess.
    • Baileys Babe
    • By Baileys Babe 17th Jan 09, 3:36 PM
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    Baileys Babe
    Thank you for this thread. I have done a little preserving in the past but would like to do a lot more. We get through masses of jam, chutney & marmalade and this should help with my grocery budget as well as giving as a sense of well being at providing good food for friends & family. I will not be making marmalade, even though I have in the past as DP's father makes this and always ensures we are well stocked up, even loving providing enough for my sisters family. He also makes chutney but the supply is spasmodic so I would like to completment this with some of my own. I do make lemon curd, but I would like to find some other things to use lemons for, any suggestions. I'm hoping to make surplus so I can use these in present hampers. Love the idea of making preserves from tinned/dried/frozen fruit and veg. Then I can organise my time more efficently.
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