Wednesday, February 05, 2014

If you can't stand the heat, get outta the kitchen!

And I so wish I could have today! Why is it that preserving time falls at the same time as the hot weather! Not a lot I can do really apart from grin and bear it. No point having all these wonderful crops growing and then do nothing with them.
Yesterday we processed all of the plums we picked of the tree and the strawberries gathered on Sunday. They were plentiful and I set Joe to work on de-stoning the softer/overripe & bruised plums.

 We now have a second barrel of plum wine on the go. I'll do a separate post for the wine making.

I set to turning the strawberries we picked on Sunday into more jam

Rather than spend any more time in a very hot kitchen preserving the plums, I halved, de-stoned and made up 1kg bags and put them in the freezer, that way I can just grab a bag or two when I need them. I knew too that the runner beans were ready to be picked and there were going to be lots...
I found a couple of recipes online for bean relish/chutneys and opted for one by Delia Smith here
Spiced pickled Runner Beans
 2 lb (900 g) runner beans (weighed after trimming and slicing)
 1½ lb (700 g) onions, chopped
 1½ pints (850 ml) malt vinegar
 1½ oz (40 g) cornflour
 1 heaped tablespoon mustard powder
 1 rounded tablespoon turmeric
 8 oz (225 g) soft brown sugar
 1 lb (450 g) demerara sugar
You will also need six 0.5 litre jars, sterilised as described above. Six my arse! I got 3 1/2


First of all put the chopped onions into a preserving pan or large casserole or saucepan with 10 fl oz (275 ml) of the vinegar. Bring them up to simmering point and let them simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the onions are soft.
Meanwhile cook the sliced beans in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then strain them in a colander and add to the onions.

Now in a small basin mix the cornflour, mustard and turmeric with a little of the remaining vinegar – enough to make a smooth paste – then add this paste to the onion mixture.

Pour in the rest of the vinegar and simmer everything for 10 minutes. After that stir in both quantities of sugar until they dissolve and continue to simmer for a further 15 minutes. 

Then pot the pickle in warmed, sterilised jars, and seal and label when cold. See! That ain't 6 500ml jars is it! I must do something wrong as m quantities are never the same!

Keep for at least a month before eating.

Next will be the courgettes and gherkins, I just have to search for the recipe, it's on the blog somewhere. They are lovely and we went through them pretty quickly. I will make as many as I can, I have some nice large jars that will be ideal, I just need to get some lids. A trip to the supermarket is in order too, I need a tanker of vinegar, a truck load of sugar and other stuff!

Sue popped over for a couple of hours this morning, had a long chat, a cuppa and then the obligatory walkabout, here  are few photos she took, me feeding Amber and the  dawgs.
Take a look at Sue's blog here

Right I'm going to find somewhere to melt now, it is very warm and humid today and a cool shower is in order. I hope you're enjoying your week.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you managed a successful lot of preserving despite the heat.

    Glad you got to spend some time with Sue as well, looks like you had a nice time wandering round the paddocks.


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