Friday 9 October 2009

Pickles and preserves

A while ago I wrote that I was going to try pickling Nasturtium seeds to create Poor Man's Capers. Sadly, I didn't get around to picking them until after Barry had cut the grass and many of the Nasturtiums growing therein. I pickled the few I had and we tried them today – rather nice, quite peppery – next year I'll try to be a bit quicker off the mark.
Recently I made a batch of marmalade. The kitchen was filled with the aroma of boiling simmering fruit and everything close to the preserving pan, including me, received a generously sticky coating. After the jars had been sterilised in the oven I ladled the mixture into them and screwed on the lids. I labelled it 'Marmalade glue' as it looked quite extremely stiff! Job done! A couple of days later I looked at the marmalade again and noticed a thick crystalline topping in each of the jars – I didn't need a knife to tell me it was solid. Barry said it should more accurately be called 'Marmalade Metal.' Wresting Removing it from the jars was no easy job – brute strength, hot water, determination achieved the impossible objective. The preserving pan was brought into play again but now I think I have added too much water and it will never thicken reduce. I'll try again tomorrow!
We have two crab-apple trees in our garden and they were laden this year. 'Golden Hornet' yielded six pounds of fruit which produced four jars of crab-apple jelly. 'Red Jade' , which has very small apples, gave less than a pound and I burnt overcooked the fruit. There are still some left on the tree so perhaps there'll be enough for another attempt.
When I am paying attention successful my pickles and preserves are quite tasty. When my attention wanders my efforts are cause for mirth. My school reports always said, 'Must try harder.' I think I'm very trying!


  1. Glad you stopped by today. Thank you. Also, I've never tried to jam or preserve. I might get inspired one of these days ... you never know!

  2. Thanks for your comment on my 55.

    The only time I ever tried preserving anything it was tomatoes and it was probably 40 years ago. Turned out O.K., but way too much work. Never again.



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