Saturday, 26 September 2015

Pootling in the Kitchen with a view to Stocking Up the Pantry

I am a little busy in the kitchen today mostly preparation but I am desperate to get some goodies in the stockpile for Christmas and it is cheaper to do it myself in the long run.  Once you have the basic consumables usually jam jars and Kilner and Mason jars its just about new seals or lids on an annual basis,  that is apart from your core ingredients.  I tend to keep a good stock of sugar, vinegar, etc. and I buy a few jars every so often usually when there is an offer on.  I reuse them all though but always use new seals and lids.

The Coop had an offer on with some late. English strawberries today £2 per tray double the size of a normal punnet so I have bought a few trays to bottle some strawberries for puddings, trifles etc during the winter months.  Next year I intend to go to the Pick Your Own Farm but this year I have had other things on my mind and to deal with.  I already have Strawberry Jam put to one side which will come in useful for toast and also for filling Victoria Sponges and Jam Tarts.

I am going to use this method to process them.  They are currently  standing in the sugar.

 They are hot water bath processed not placed in a pressure canner.

I have also bought some more ingredients for Piccallili for OH - he goes through it very quickly so I have the preparation of this to do tonight with the completion set for tomorrow.  This constitutes cutting the vegetables into small pieces and salting./brining overnight and then making a thick turmeric spice paste to complete.  I use the Pam Corbin recipe from the River Cottage Preserves book.  I haven't found a bad recipe in there yet.  Just wish I had a really big Pantry and then I could really get stuck in and would totally be in my element!

I also have 4kg plus of fresh tomatoes to make some pasta sauce.   That will probably get done tomorrow as I need to use both ovens for doing that and I want to start some oven dried tomatoes off and finish them in the dehydrator. OH is partial to them but they are expensive to buy.

A load of cucumbers for preparing bread and butter pickles.  

Some Howland Wonder Apples for making Apple Chutney and Apple Puree/Sauce.

Another net of pickling onions for pickled onions.  I have ordered a couple of nets of shallots so I am hopeful that they will arrive next week.

So I have quite a bit to do but the Pantry does need filling up and there is lots more to do yet.  It is very satisfying to see the Pantry shelves get topped up.

I have also bought some reduced cherry tomatoes to bottle as per this recipe here

I also have some grapefruit for grapefruit curd and also grapefruit cordial.

Some small clementines for drying for Christmas Garlands

Some small clementines for making clementine curd

Some small clementines for peeling and making clementines in syrup

Some small clementines for drying in slices for use in garlands or for making mulled wine

Some sweetheart cabbage reduced cheaply  for freezing.  We are very fond of cabbage in this household especially the sweetheart variety.

I have a sack of spuds ordered for next week - during the winter months I do not like to be without potatoes as you can always make a nice warming meal of some sort or another with a few basic ingredients.  I also want to get some Bubble n Squeak cakes into the freezer for use in nice hot meals or as a side to  a cooked breakfast.

I shall buy in bulk carrots, swede and parsnips next week and get them into the freezer.   It helps a lot in the winter months getting it prepped like this as we always have a hot meal of some sort and if its just prepped you can just pop it in the oven and forget about it.

I am hoping to go for a walk tomorrow afternoon to see if I can find a few elderberries, some rosehips and rowan berries.  I am also after some teasels for Christmas decorations and some small fir cones.  I shall take my foraging basket with me to see what I can find.  I have my eye on some fresh horseradish as well.  It can be grated in the food processor and then popped into ice cube trays to store in the freezer. I would dearly love to find some crab apples but they seem to be evading me at the moment as they make the most beautiful of jellies for serving with roast pork.  If you use the red coloured crabs they give a lovely pinkey hue to the jelly and the yellowy greeny ones give you a golden jelly.  Oh well I shall just have to keep looking.

But I have my hands full in the meantime.

Catch you soon.




  1. Gosh, you and I could have such fun in a kitchen together, making preserves. I have teasles here if you want some.

    I LOVED all your ideas - clementine curd sounds amazing. I can just taste it.

    I hope you found the elderberries etc. I made a FAB cake today, Pear/Ginger/Elderberry Loaf from Landscape (or Landlove) Magazine. It is yummy! I'll put the recipe up on my blog next week.

    1. Hi BB - I've said to you before we would lead each other seriously astray. Would it surprise you to learn that I have the Landscape Magazine with the Pear/Ginger/Elderberry loaf recipe. I also have the Landlove magazine and there is a recipe for Baked Apple Liqueur in the September/October edition. I have been very impressed with the recipes in both magazines. The Landscape Magazine is publishing a cookbook called a yearbook of recipes available from Waitrose, M & S or W H Smith. Thanks for the offer of the teasels there is load down the riverbank and I have a wreath decoration to have a go at. Consists of a collar of card painted gold and then the teasels also painted gold in the centre. The Clementine Curd is particularly nice but they are also lovely prepared whole and in syrup and then bottled although it is a time consuming job taking all the pith off with a sharp knife.. I am lucky enough to be able to buy them for £1 a bowl you get a kg plus in each bowl easily. Hopefully I will get some foraging goodies as well i.e. the elderberries and some rosehips and the teaels. Catch up soon. Pattypan x

  2. You all stay so busy!

    I can tell you are marvelous cooks.



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)