I still have fruit cocktail to make. This is what is referred to loosely as a white fruit cocktail. There is a red fruits version of this as well but first things first. The reason they are defined so is that when making home made preserves if you put a red fruit in with a white fruit it will turn that white fruit pink which is not what we also require. I will prepare that another time.
I also want to try and get some compotes put down as well as these can be thickened and turned into home made dishes like deep dish individual apricot tarts. There is an apple and pear, just apple, plum and various other options.
I managed to snaffle apricots at 2 per kilo at the veg shop the other day and so bought home 3kg. There are now 11 jars of halved apricots prepared in syrup for the pantry shelf. Drained off the syrup these will be ideal come the winter months for serving with croissants and also with yogurt for breakfast but also using to make my own French Apricot tart for the run up to Christmas M and S always have these on sale prior to Christmas and of course they can be used as pudding just served with some ice cream or simply cream. So last night I prepared 3kg Apricots. I am hoping to get some more at this price to turn into compote for bottling which will be ideal for filling individual pastry tarts or little pies.
Cherries were also purchased again yesterday 3kg. I also processed them last night and I have another seven jars. The cherries are massive and oh so delicious - expensive yes but lush and because of their size you do not get as many to the kilo so that is 13 jars of black cherries - the cherries are from Kent yet again. Good old English seasonal produce cannot beat it. If I go in on Saturday I might get some more as I have a recipe for some pickled cherries and also a cherry chutney both of which might be very good with duck and chicken. I also want to do my yearly batch of cherry brandy.
I still have the pineapple jam to do and I want to make some pineapple jelly as well as plum jam and jelly.
Whilst that is going on I shall get some home made tomato sauce on the go as well and hopefully some bottled cherry tomatoes.
Apricot Chutney tonight though and Apricot jam.
I bought some Victoria plums off the market yesterday just 1kg more for nibbling on they need another a day or so before they will be ready to eat. I am hoping to get some from the veg shop on Saturday but if not I will pop into town and get some as there are a whole raft of recipes that I use plums for and I want to get quite a few bottled as well.
I bought my copy of the Country Living magazine yesterday. There are some lovely seasonal articles in there including as section on how to make your own hedgerow liqueurs such as sloe gin, bramble vodka, plum brandy, raspberry whisky. You can also make and bottle cordials.
There is also the outline of a celebrating harvest family party with each member of the family adding something and being able to do something . This is something that we used to do when we went to my Nan's for the apple picking. We worked hard and together as a family to bring in the apples and the plums and pears and there would always be one of my Nan's special roast dinners to finish off the weekend - everyone who helped got treated to the meal. It was often a piece of roast pork with home made apple sauce as well.
Now I wish I could locate some Damsons as you can make a lovely orange and damson jam, damson vodka and gin, can be used in pies although the fruit needs to be cooked and not eaten raw and damson jelly and cheese. Just do not seem to be able to locate any round here.
Tonight whilst bedlam reigns in the rest of the kitchen I shall put the first of the tomato pasta sauce in the oven and cook through before whizzing through the food processor and bottling and processing. No sugar this way and when I process my bottled fruit I have been using a lower sugar syrup than I usually do.
Blackberries are starting to put in an appearance and although not ready generally yet around this area there are bushes with odd berries on. I really need to do a serious purge on the berries this year for all sorts of uses. initially they will be frozen until I get time to process them. I also need mixed berries - I need to put a lot of these down as not only are they good for puddings but also for breakfast too. I have already made some jumbleberry jam.
So as usual loads to do not enough time to do it but its worth it to see the food starting to mount up.
This weekend though I will be making picallili.
Right catch you later.