Saturday, 29 July 2017

The Preserving Pot

Well its not on the bubble but it will be shortly.  Hubble bubble time is my time for dreaming and weaving my magic with the preserves I make for the pantry shelf.  I just enjoy doing this sort of thing and whilst I am stirring the contents of a maslin pan I dream and plan; it is very cathartic and soothing.

I have started with the pasta sauce.  The first batch is in the oven roasting down tomatoes cut into wedges, basil, thyme, onion, leak spring onion and garlic liberally drizzled with lots of light olive oil.  I have a couple of batches to go yet as I managed to get quite a lot of tomatoes quite cheaply.  I will do at least three batches of the tomatoes and if I have any tomatoes left over I will probably make some tomato and onion chutney.  That's the plan anyway. 

I also have plums. I plan to do some chutney and then some Chinese plum sauce with these ones , but in the coming weeks I hope to get some Victoria Plums to preserve in syrup.  You can serve these warmed through just with some custard or they can be drained and popped into a pie or even with a sponge topping.  Good solid food to keep you warm during the cooler months.

I also have more pears, spiced pears in vinegar, mulled pears and some more Apricots, to do jam and bottle up.  OH is not keen on mulled pears but I love them.  He is not keen on cinnamon.

I have also been eyeing up the wild food larder.  A week on the blackberries are starting to produce.  I am hoping to go blackberrying tomorrow so that I can make some bramble and apple jelly.  Its a great favourite in this house and is delicious served with plain scones and cream.  They are also delicious dropped into a batter and then cooked in small pancakes akin to the size of Scotch pancakes and served with some fresh berries which have been warmed in a pan with a little sugar and the juices allowed to flow and some cream,  Yum.  there are lots of other recipes I am hoping to do too but it depends on how many blackberries we are able to harvest.

I thought the elderberries would be ready this weekend.  They are not far off but I think they need another week - so I am planning on getting some of those next week.  I have a lot I want to do with the humble elderberry.

There would appear to be a lot of them.  I just hope I get my timings right.  I would like to make elderberry jelly, elderberry rob, Pontack sauce, elderberry wine, the blackberry and elderberry cordial I posted the recipe earlier for; some Hedgepick pie filling, and Hedgepick jam plus some other recipes that I have been eyeing up as well. There is a lot to do.  Elderberry wine is good to use in cooking as well especially in casseroles or in sauces.  We like pheasant but neither of us like it hung and a shot of elderberry wine goes well with a pheasant casserole.  

My Nan used to get pheasant from the locals but to make it stretch further she would if there was a crowd of us have about three pheasants and then cook it with a large chicken.  She would then on a plate serve a slice of chicken and a slice of pheasant alternating until there was enough on the plate and both meats complement each other.  Its just we won't and don't eat them hung.

I am hoping that I can locate some Damsons - in all my time preserving I have only come across them once and that was at a local market.  I have never seen them since despite looking but with those Damsons I made Damson and orange jam and it was delicious.  I would also quite like to get some Damson Gin on the go as well.

I will be looking for Sloes this year for Sloe Gin.  It is a great favourite here and very warming on a cold winters day.  You can however use it in casseroles and in sauces.

I also have mint to turn into keeping mint sauce.  I can fit that in and around doing everything else.  It is not a complicated or onerous job and I have an electric herb chopper which is ideal for doing the chopping.

Right excuse me I have things to get on with and food to get processed for the pantry shelf and I do have quite a bit to do.  Hopefully will catch up again soon.

Catch you shortly.




  1. Oh wow your elderberries are well ahead of ours here. We're still very green! Same for the brambles. We don't get many here where we live so I might have to go to my old stomping ground to forage some! X

    1. Hi Tracy, they seem a little early round here so don't know whether it was the effect of that really hot period and then all the rain since, but round here at least the season is moving ever so gradually into autumn which is confusing to say the least. However the hips and the haws are still green and we still not had the main crop of plums yet or greengages which make a lovely jam. Sometimes you have to go back to good sites. My mum and dad used to do that and I have also done that. I go collecting fir cones too for Christmas decorations but they also make good firelighters you can add a little old candle wax to make them take quicker or just put them on the top of the fire when it gets going and you get the lovely resinous scent released and scenting the room. Something for the kids to do collecting fir cones. Same with old woody herb stems save them up and put with some chopped kindling or dried twigs and the fire soon takes. Pattypan x


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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
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