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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Ideas for the Put Down 2011

I still have unfinished business from before Christmas in the pickling and preserving sections and as I have the ingredients and don't wish to waste them,  primarily pickling onions and shallots and also crab apples and ordinary apples. and a couple of pumpkins for pumpkin marmalade and also a chutney.  In the circumstances, the Putdown is being started earlier than before.  Needs must and all that.  I make no apology for this .but taking into account the rise to come in VAT in the New Year and also taking into account available funds and any providence that may come my way. I wish to make the most of everything that  happens serendipitiously. 

There are still many areas of preserving that I want to get my head around - I just wish my pantry was bigger so that I could better organise it so that I can find things without a major hunt.  I am particularly interested in crystallising fruits in pieces (sugar coated) and in syrups in order that I can create an interesting sweetmeat platter in readiness for next year's Christmas.  Equally I am also very interested in different forms of preservation of meat.  I have done pates before, but now feel that I want to go on and experiment with Salamis  and sausages and having a go at my own home cured bacon and smoking foods.  Will have to see what we can do about this.May be they can go down on a long wish list for the New Year.

I am very conscious that Cranberries have been in season and are likely to be reduced now that the main Christmas event is over and I have a few in any event as I always make my own fresh Cranberry sauce with Grand Marnier to go with the turkey.  I always make a scuttle full and then pop into containers in the fridge, same with home made bread sauce and then it is used in sandwiches or meat platters.


I have several recipes that I would like to have a bash at if I can obtain  further supplies of the cranberries at a reasonable price and I have some crab apples to use up in any event. Nice Red ones.  I am principally thinking about making some cranberry and apple jelly - we use a lot of this throughout the year.  I also want to make some more crab apple jelly.  Its lovely spread on crumpets or croissants but equally makes a very good alternative "apple sauce" to serve with roast pork.  I also use it in gravies too.

Citrus fruits have also been plentiful and I also intend to take advantage of these as well, whether it be bottled, in marmalade, in jellies - I have some from the Christmas celebrations that I do not want to waste at all whether it be turned into curds, marmalades, jellies, or sweetmeats.  It will either get put down for use next Christmas or for use in baking in between.  

I also discovered a few bags of dried fruit that are getting near their sell by dates so I may well utilise them in some form of dried chutney or soak them in brandy for fruit cake or in tea for a fruit tea loaf.

Just a few ideas to start with - am back at work tomorrow so will primarily have to try and do of an evening to start with.

I will post the list of what I manage to accomplish as soon as I get into gear and start producing.  The Pantry was all sorted out before Christmas and I now have to start clearing the freezers down and no doubt I will find a lot of fruit in there which can be turned into something useful in due course, in order to be replenished in the coming year. To this end I want to try and get the garden sorted but I also intend to pay a few visits to the Grow Your Own Farms.

 

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