When autumn (fall) starts to creep in, it’s definitely time to start preserving the harvest from your garden or the hedgerows. People have been preserving food since ancient times. Evidence shows that Middle Eastern cultures were using the heat of the sun to dry their foods as early as 12,000 BC—for reasons of survival or culture or both. Fast forward to the present day, and preserving our food, perhaps home-grown, seasonal, local, organic, or free-range, is an essential and enjoyable part of a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
About the Author
Garden and food writer ROBIN RIPLEY has been growing, cooking and preserving fresh food from her garden since moving to a small farm in rural Maryland 15 years ago. She is an enthusiastic experimenter of all things related to food, including bread and pastry baking, wine and cheese making, canning and preserving. She is co-author of Grocery Gardening and also raises pet chickens. Robin writes and talks regularly with groups about gardening, potager design and the importance and joy of supporting locally-grown and fresh foods.
Here are a few of the useful tips:
- Tip 158: Pick the right bowls and pots for pickling
Avoid containers and utensils made of unlined copper, iron, zinc or brass when pickling. These materials may react with acid and salt and can cloud or discolour your pickles. For pots, pick such materials as stainless steel, heatproof glass or hard-anodised aluminum.
- Tip 254: Set your freezer temperature to -18 Freezer temperatures settings should be set to -18 C (0 F) or lower. Not all freezer settings are accurate, though, so get a freezer thermometer, available at supermarkets and kitchenware retailers, and regularly monitor the temperate and adjust the setting if needed.
- Tip 279: Create your own herb meat rubs
With herbs rolling in from the garden by the basketful, don’t forget you can mix the match them to make unique and delicious rubs for meat and poultry. For poultry, try combining dried lemon thyme, sage, rosemary, salt, and pepper. For beef, try a combination of dried thyme, sage, marjoram, garlic and onion powders, pepper and salt.
Author: Robin Ripley, Publisher: Apple Press RRP: £12.99
Spiced Blackberry Jam
As Wisdom for Home Preservers doesn’t have any recipes, I am sharing a recipe that I have adapted from a variety of sources. Blackberries, particularly wild blackberries, contain a lot of seeds. When I made the recipe, I used whole berries, however, you can also puree the cooked berries. You do this by putting them through a food mill or push them through a sieve to make a puree which will make a smooth jam with no seeds.
WHY NOT PIN THIS IMAGE FOR LATER?
More Blackberry Recipes from Farmersgirl Kitchen
SPICED BLACKBERRY JAM:
- 1 kg blackberries
- 1 star anise
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 2 lemons juice
- 3 kg white sugar warmed
- First sterilise your jars, by washing and rinsing them, the placing in the oven at 100C for about 20 minutes until they are dry. Leave them in the oven as they should be warm when you fill with the jam.
- Wrap the star anise, cloves and cinnamon in a piece of muslin and tie with string
- Put the blackberries and the spices in a large pan with 2 tablespoons of water
- Cook until soft.
- Mash the fruit with the back of a spoon
- Remove spices, you can then either leave the berries whole or press them through a sieve or food mill
- If you are making the puree, wash the pan then return the blackberry puree to the pan and add the lemon juice. I
- Heat, stirring to prevent the blackberries sticking.
- If you are using whole berries no need to wash the pan, simply add the lemon juice to the pan and proceed with the following instructions.
- Add the warmed sugar stirring until dissolved
- Turn up the heat and boil rapidly until the jam has reached the setting point
- Pour the hot jam into the sterilised jars.
I’m adding this recipe to The Great British Blackberry Recipe Round Up, a Linky party which Karen at Lavender and Lovage and I are running throughout Blackberry season 2015. Click through to the GBBR post for full details. You will see that I used the photo from this post for the Linky badge!