Saturday, 26 June 2010

Experimentation with a bottle steriliser

A lot of us (not everyone) have items in the kitchen cupboard that we are probably not always using to their full extent or we wish for an easier method of processing stuff without the expense.  One example of this is that I have on my list of to do's a go at making soap in a slow cooker.  From what I have read it is safe and contained, and there is less risk of injury using this method.

One of the problems I have come up with during my journey through home food processing is the question of finding a nice sized bottle that would hold some goodies for the pantry in like for home made ketchup, fruit sauces, ice cream sauces, cordials etc. I acquired some nice sized sauce bottles from Ascott and yet again that was as far as it got.  That is until I decided to do the elderflower cordial and wondered what I could put it in and also keep it for quite a lengthy period of time.

I have therefore been experimenting this week as a while back I had a thought and acted on it (very impetuous I know) about sterilising the numerous amounts of bottles I have without quite so much clap trap involved.  I therefore acquired a baby bottle steriliser  (mine came second hand from a car boot a while back) and thats as far as it got. Until this week I did not even know if it worked. But that thought came round from pattypan's personal archives and rose above the parapet again and I have found that it is ideal for any medium sized slender sauce type bottles (mine came from Ascott).  It has not only sterilised my bottles (and keeps those bottles safe and sterilised for up to six hours so the instructions say as long as you don't lift the lid) but I also "bottled" my elderflower cordial in it for long time storage.  So will see how it goes but its a lot easier doing it this way rather than balancing bottles in a large preserving pan and them going off piste as they say and wedging them with tea towels to keep them upright.

I can get six of the sauce bottles in to the steriliser (it uses citric acid and water) or three slightly larger bottles as the sterliser is quite deep.  But for larger bottles I think I will need to invest in a pasteuriser from Vigo the only drawback here is that it costs £150, but the advantage from what I can see is that if you have lots of kilner jars or that type jar and you have a lot of jars to process you can get quite a few in this machine to process the bottles in bulk which is both a saving on time and energy in the long run.  The machine can also be used for various other projects like a tea urn at a country fete etc. 

There is one thing I regret not being able to have (or at least I haven't located one yet).  When I was a little girl (a long time ago I know) but when my mum had my brother there were a lot of nappies to be washed, aired and dried and we didn't have central heating in those days - only one coal fire in the front room and a small stove in the kitchen and it was always cold and we had longer colder winters (the one we had last year was nearer the norm).  It was therefore a tad difficult getting things dried and quite often the washing was put to dry before the fire in the winter months.  Mum and Dad invested in what was known as a drying cabinet with wooden rails in it. It was ideal for drying damp clothes and airing dried ironed clothes.  Its only as an adult all these years on I see the potential of that piece of equipment.  If only I could get my hands on one of them it would be ideal for doing batch drying of home made pasta.

So perhaps we should all re-evaluate what kitchen equipment we have and see what other uses we can put things too.  It would be lovely to hear if you have come up with some other uses for your own equipment.

Catch you all later

1 comment:

  1. Patti, I sterilize my bottles using the old baby method.

    I have a bucket which hold approx a gallon of water, I fill it 3/4 full using a measuring jug and then pour in the required amount of the fluid. I use Tesco's or boots bottle sterilizer, emerse the bottles till they fill up with water, and top up with the arofe mentioned jug. The bucket holds 7 reasonable sized bottles, it might need a drop more water so put in wahts needed with a drop more of the fluid. leave for 12 hours and then use. Tip out the liquid and fill. do not rinse them, you wash the sterilization fluid away. I usually pout the liquid back into the bucket and then put the dishcloth and tea towel in for a couple of hours. especially if they are being washed at lower that 60o in the washer. We are encouraged to use lower temperatures than we were used to using for these type of things.

    Must go, lunch in the garden calls.............


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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)