Posted by: edibleplanet | January 13, 2010

‘Tis the season to be jam and sauce making

We used to hardly ever make jams or jellies or sauces. Karl usually made a batch of his smoky barbecue sauce but that was as far as went. We were busy working long hours and it was easier to buy off the supermarket shelf. But now we are enjoying the depths of flavour from making our own.
A few years ago we got more into gardening and planted a red currant bush. It has grown every year and gives us a plentiful supply of red currants. It is frustrating that usually they are ready right on Christmas when it is busy or we are planning to go away. This year I picked and froze three containers before we went away. This morning the kids and I picked more and I set a batch of red currant jelly on the go. I didn’t unfreeze all the fruit as last night I had made apricot jam from some apricots we found cheap on the Peninsula and I was running low on jars.
For both the red currant jelly and the apricot jam, I went back to the faithful standby – The Edmonds Book. I did add some orange blossom water to the apricot jam just before I bottled it, which has added a lovely aromatic and slightly exotic hint to it. Today making the red currant jelly I decided to add some rose water and again it has just added to the flavour, giving it a bit of complexity without being dominant.
Before Christmas we spotted some cheap sauce tomatoes so we dug out Gran’s tomato sauce recipe and made up a batch. Karl also made a batch of Gran’s plum sauce using plums from my parents plum tree. Then with all the apricots he also made a jar of spicy apricot sauce with some chilli we had bought from a road side shop.
It doesn’t take long to make up these things and I had it in my head that one had to make millions of jars but we make small batches so we don’t get sick of them and it is an easy amount to handle on the stove.
Now to see how long all these homegrown concoctions last. We seem to eat them quicker than the shop bought variety I think due to the yummy tastes. I am already looking forward to making quince jelly when the quinces ripen, especially now I have learnt I can make a fruit pate from all the pulp rather than just throwing it away.

– Fiona

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