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    • kittie
    • By kittie 19th Jun 18, 6:40 AM
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    Preserving, it has started
    • #1
    • 19th Jun 18, 6:40 AM
    Preserving, it has started 19th Jun 18 at 6:40 AM
    Lets get this thread up and running. It is june 2018 and produce will not wait but first I will mention the very best food preservation book I have ever used. You can still get it from amazon for 1p second hand or around 7 new

    `home preservation of fruit and vegetables` by AFRC institute of food research

    Perhaps people could say what they are growing and picking or buying in bulk.
    Last edited by kittie; 19-06-2018 at 7:31 AM.
Page 3
    • kittie
    • By kittie 21st Jun 18, 6:55 PM
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    I am ready for off, I picked another 8.5 lbs of gooseberries and have topped and tailed, using fingers. Washed in veggie wash, aware always of bird poop hence the veggie wash, rinsed and they are spread out drying on tea towels. I would say that in the south anyway, this is a good time to be picking, several were already ripe ie too soft for me. If I didn`t have bushes I would be doing pyo, love gooseberries

    Pruning was much more drastic than I expected, wanting to keep the standard shape and got rid of several long side branches. They are tough plants and will survive
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 21st Jun 18, 11:42 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
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    Hi everyone

    Really excited to see this thread, Im only just starting out on the preserving wagon but Im eager to learn. Last year I made fridge pickles, onion chutney and piccalilli. So far this year Ive only made apricot jam (ys apricots from sm) and strawberry jam with the fruit off the lottie. I have rhubarb and strawberries in the kitchen that I picked today so tomorrow I will try the compote from page one, and I also picked a load of gooseberries but I think I will freeze these.

    I usually give my dds quite of lot of jam and pickles as I cant possibly eat them all but I do enjoy growing on the lottie and making preserves with what I grow and any useful ys stuff.

    I use Thane Prince, Perfect Preserves book, but Im going on to AM to have a look at the one suggested.

    Budgeting again, must try harder!!
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    • kittie
    • By kittie 22nd Jun 18, 7:23 AM
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    hello nanny
    First lot of 5 kilners were preserved last night, I wanted to get stuck in. It was easy, I had made post-it notes last time, even including the hob settings. The kitchen did not get steamy and I did not need to stand over the pot for the first 50 minutes. It helped that I have induction because of the instant heat changes ie I went from 7 to a short boost of 8 and a mini boost of 9, to get to that 54 degrees temperature in one hour and 82 in the next half hour, then I maintained 82 for 15 minutes

    This method is much easier than pressure cooking and very gentle, I ended up with 5 sparkling jars of gooseberries, all retaining their shape and many with that nice blush colouring. The pot of water is still on the hob, cold now and waiting for the next session. Dw is on, was getting full anyway, just making sure the kilners are very clean. You get a good even heating all through with this method and any air bubbles escape up and out

    I would recommend this method for a beginner, you just need 4 things, the pot, a large wide tall -enough stockpot would do but the maslin is very good, a trivet for the bottom, I got my bigger trivet on amazon, you could make one from crossed pieces of wood or use a folded t towel but the towel tends to rise, jar lifter tongs and a good thermometer, I use an instant read digital thermometer nowadays but any will do. I make sure to put the hot jars onto a wooden chopping board rather than the cold granite

    I used 3.5 lbs of prepared gooseberries and have just over 5 lb left and will freeze the 1.5 lbs remaining. I think I will have enough syrup from yesterday, 2lb sugar in total
    Last edited by kittie; 22-06-2018 at 7:26 AM.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 22nd Jun 18, 4:20 PM
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    almost finished, the third batch are on the first hour and mostly I can get on with other stuff as I have made a temperature chart for 10, 20 30 minutes and so on. If it needs a temperature boost then I raise the control for a short while. I had a part jar so filled it with a gooseberry/blackcurrant mix. 10 are finished and the last 4 are in the water bath now.

    I am preserving these according to my current needs and am currently looking for a house, so could well be moving in the next few months. I have an overflow chest freezer, which is off and full of lock n lock boxes as I am semi-packed. Next house, if I stay within range of my allotment, then I will be freezing some gooseberries

    Blackcurrants on ben conan bushes are ripening fast and I normally have very many berries, enough for a whole year of eating them every day plus jams for the dds. However I stripped half the berries off and am hoping for fewer but plumper berries. I am going to have to bottle half but depends on the rate of ripening
    • penny-wise
    • By penny-wise 7th Jul 18, 7:28 PM
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    Kittie do you use a pressure canner? I am looking into getting one. I am just wondering what sort of jars you use. You mentioned kilner jars - do you use the ones with the two part metal lids?
    • Nonnadiluca
    • By Nonnadiluca 7th Jul 18, 8:14 PM
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    Kittie, would you be kind enough to provide an 'idiot's guide' to the water bath process please? When looking up fruit bottling recipes they say to put in a water bath for 20 minutes, or something similar. I may be being a bit thick, but I don't know if I can use ordinary jam jars, or how hot the water should be etc. If you could clarify I would be really grateful. Thanks.
    • Living proof
    • By Living proof 25th Jul 18, 11:57 AM
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    Living proof
    Cucumbers - the small ridge ones - do you think it would be OK to dehydrate them purely for the purposes of bunging in a green smoothie over the winter? I was going to freeze some but there are so many and they take up so much freezer space. Most of the references I can find online are about drying them as crisps for dips, and that's not what I want them for - simply another taste and varied nutrition.
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    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 5th Aug 18, 7:37 PM
    • 362 Posts
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    no one talking the amount of blackberries?
    I jammed 5 kilo the other week picked another 5 kilo today

    essentially I can jam any fruit, chutney and pickle any veg
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    • MrsStepford
    • By MrsStepford 5th Aug 18, 8:10 PM
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    I like the idea of doing some preserving, but don't have a microwave, to sterilise bottles. I will have to investigate that book, thanks.

    I don't have a big garden and even before this Brexit fiasco, there was a 2 year waiting list at nearest allotments. I have been on a foraging day so I can do that.

    Another freezer would be great. However, my electricity and gas supplier is EDF, which is French-owned. It's likely that most of our electricity comes from the wind farm on the Kent/Sussex border, the nuclear power station and various solar farms BUT at peak hours electricity comes from France via an undersea cable snd there is another one being built though the Channel Tunnel.

    I don't want to buy another freezer (which I could do right now), gradually fill it with meat, poultry and fish, then lose the lot because they can't supply me or we get power cuts at peak times.
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 5th Aug 18, 8:14 PM
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    Sterilize jam jars by washing them thoroughly in hot soapy water, dry them thoroughly and put them into a very low oven for an hour, they will be sterile! If you use metal screw on lids bring a pan of water to the boil, drop the lids in it, take off the heat and leave them until the jars are finished, dry thoroughly on a clean tea towel, they will also be sterile.
    Thumpers mum was right - if you can't find anything nice to say don't say anything at all!
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 6th Aug 18, 11:44 AM
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    I am new to preserving. Since last summer I've made with homegrown fruit/veg:

    Fruit vodkas (rhubarb, raspberry and blackberry)
    Bramble jelly
    Redcurrant jelly

    Courgette chutney
    Red onion/redcurrant relish

    Apple & bramble jam (too hard to spread, ok for tarts though)

    Two questions please:

    1 Am I being thick; what's the easiest way of transferring scalding hot jam/jelly from a preserving pan into jars? The pan is too hot to hold securely with oven gloves, and with spoons I just seem to slop half of it down the jar sides.

    2 My hot/spicy chutney attempts are distinctly lacking in heat/spiciness, despite adding plenty of chillis. Should they be added right at the last minute before the mix goes into the jars?
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 6th Aug 18, 11:59 AM
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    I have a pair of heatproof double layer gauntlets from Lakeland Plastics, wearing them I use a small pyrex jug to transfer the hot jam to the jars which have a wide mouthed funnel sat on top of them one by one. I have the hot jars on a newspaper on a tray and start in one corner and move the tray along the side of the maslin pan as I fill them so the one I'm filling is always under the lip of the pan to catch the drips and it keeps me and the work surfaces and also the jam jars relatively clean!

    Chillis go in at the beginning of cooking of chutneys along with all the other spices, we like 'warm' chutneys so I chop fresh chillis and they stay in to mature, yum!
    Thumpers mum was right - if you can't find anything nice to say don't say anything at all!
    • mumf
    • By mumf 6th Aug 18, 12:16 PM
    • 196 Posts
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    Started dehydrating tomatoes.Looking good.
    • Thrice
    • By Thrice 6th Aug 18, 12:30 PM
    • 148 Posts
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    Hi all, I'd love to join in please!

    Me and DH are new to preserving this year. He's made jam using loads of berries from the garden, and we have frozen stewed apples from last years glut, but that's all we have ever done.

    I bought a book years ago with loads of recipes in it, think it's a good housekeeping one? All jams, preserves etc etc. So far I've tried zero recipes

    We have recently bought a dehydrator as I wanted to dry fruits etc to use as toppings for porridge, cereals etc throughout the year. So far I've dried our overgrowing basil, but thats it as I really don't know how to store foods properly

    We are only a few weeks away from starting to take the apples off the two trees in the neighbours garden, one is a cooking apple and one is an eating apple. I give the neighbour what they want and we keep the rest, last year I used the flexible buckets (like a bricklayer would use?) and for ourselves we had in total 9 bucket loads
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    • Floss
    • By Floss 6th Aug 18, 5:30 PM
    • 4,902 Posts
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    We have had a less productive year on our plot this year, but have gooseberries, strawberries & rhubarb in the freezer for wine, blackcurrants, redcurrants & blackberries stashed for jam, the plums will be cooked in brandy and the apples will be made into wine too.

    I need to check my secret locations for sloes and crab apples, and check the elderberries too

    We have a stash of dry chillies to be made into chilli jelly and DHs chilli sauce, and a dish of tomatoes ripening on the kitchen window sill for passata
    • rallp54
    • By rallp54 8th Aug 18, 10:14 AM
    • 20 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    Hope no one minds me asking but I made some chutney last winter & sealed the kilner jars & they've been in a dark cupboard since. I went to open one the other day but physically couldn't open it!! I even tried prising it open with a flat head screw driver.... any tips on safely opening?
    Originally posted by Oakdene
    Pull the rubber seal sideways until it breaks the vacuum.
    • toastrack
    • By toastrack 8th Aug 18, 2:26 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    Buy yourself a jam funnel. They rest on the top of the jar going into the jar just enough. The top is wider than the spoon or ladle you are using.
    • toastrack
    • By toastrack 8th Aug 18, 2:31 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    If you are looking for jam recipes try the Certo website You can download their recipes as a pdf for future reference.
    • MisterT
    • By MisterT 9th Aug 18, 7:36 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    top tip - if you don't have a jam funnel or don't want to buy one use a plastic milk bottle, 2 litre are best, just cut around it a few centimetres above the handle and use it as a funnel. Nice and wide to avoid spillage and a quick rinse and into the recycling when done.
    • Floss
    • By Floss 9th Aug 18, 8:35 AM
    • 4,902 Posts
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    top tip - if you don't have a jam funnel or don't want to buy one use a plastic milk bottle, 2 litre are best, just cut around it a few centimetres above the handle and use it as a funnel. Nice and wide to avoid spillage and a quick rinse and into the recycling when done.
    Originally posted by MisterT
    I'm not sure a plastic milk bottle would stand up to much jam at 105 deg.C...
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