Sunday, 17 May 2015

Rhubarb, The Pantry, the Freezer and "Put Down" Plannng

For those of you not in the know I really am passionate about preserving in all its different formats. I refer to all the preserves that I make through the year as the "Put Down".  I have done for years since I was 19 when I started off with Pickled Onions in a big old sweetie jar.  Things have stalled a bit on the preserves front recently  mostly because I had been concentrating on the freezer.  That is now chock a bloc and has all sorts of goodies stuck within it.  However I want to get back into the swing of  preserving things again as it seems ages since I got stuck in.

To kick start this operation I have bought a very large box of Rhubarb about 10lb (could be more) from the greengrocers.  It is destined to be bottled in syrup for the winter months, some chutney and a few jars of jam.  .  OH will be going fishing again soon so I may well take advantage of that time alone to get stuck in and sort out what I want to "Put Down" for this year.  Whatever I make always manages to supplement the Freezer, the Tinned Pantry, the dried goods pantry as well as the fresh food.Sometimes my meals consist of blending of different elements and that for me is one of the inifinite possibilities available by using what I have to hand.  I do keep a substantial pantry and not everything has been bought at the same time I have built the stores up a bit at a time and when things have been on offer and gradually increased my ingredient repertoire and then maintained that base.  Some months when I go shopping I concentrate on the absolute basics and then say concentrate on the Tinned pantry, baked beans, tomatoes whole, chopped, red kidney beans, soup, cannelini beans, salmon, tuna, tinned fruit, sardines in tomato sauce, anchovies.  Another month I might concentrate.  Sometimes it is a mixed bag a bit of this a bit of that - its very organic and not fixed.  After all each of us keeps a very different pantry and the method can be adapted to suit the individual,

So back to the rhubarb its easy to do as this little tutorial will show.   This uses the first forced rhubarb for the year which is the most delicate but can be utilised to bottle the British summer rhubarb too.

So to start with Rhubarb in Syrup to preserve the rhubarb for the winter months to make sure I have some puddings to hand.  I was lucky enough to get a good price from my Greengrocer and she works with me. If I am after something I ask her whether they have any plans and quite often she will indicate that she will speak with her Dad "The Buyer" for their outfit and ask him to keep an eye out and they quite frequently come back with what I am after at a fair price.

Anyway here are the tutorials I have come across to show what can be done.  The only thing I would stress is that everything has to be spotless.  I use Kilner jars for long term storage of bottled fruit.



and fnally

Bottling is not difficult.  You can bottle fruit in the oven or by hot water bottle processing in the pressure cooker or in a proper pressure canner which reaches higher temperatures than a pressure cooker does.  This is very important when canning/bottling vegetables as it reaches the temperatures to kill off any nasties where a pressure cooker necessarily does not.

Do not be scared if you follow the basic instructions - each time you have a go you will become more familiar and get to know the recipe. 

I pop tomatoes up from early summer to late autumn making my own bottled tomato sauce for pasta or as a base for soup.  

For me though the beauty of bottling is that I am still able to pop fruit up for puddings etc. whilst being able to put more substantial items like meat into the freezer.  There is nothing nicer than opening up my Pantry store and having the choice of foods to choose from that you cannot necessarily obtain from a supermarket and it gives you so much more flexibility.

My rhubarb is destined for crumbles and pies, the syrup once drained off can be used as a base for cold drinks or turned into a sauce so nothing goes to waste.

Catch you later.




  1. Hi, glad to hear you got some rhubarb I bottled some last week following your post. Would you please post the recipe for rhubarb jam if you make it as I would like to give it a try Rebecca x

    1. Hi Rebecca will try and pop a couple of recipes up this weekend for you. Take care Tricia xx


Thank you for popping by. I love to receive comments and to make new friends so please say Hi. Pattypan

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)