Friday, July 23, 2010


Oh how I hate the stink of cucumbers. Still, only about two kilos left to get through. Will do them tomorrow. Got over the major hump today by bringing up one of the water bath canners I have from the cellar and cleaning it as well as opening up the boxes of jars that I bought on ebay late last year.

I've just put the cucumber conserve on for it's almost final 10 minutes boil and realised that actually I now need to leave it to stand for 12 hours before boiling it for another 16 minutes. So I won't need to be doing any more late night bottling now.

As well as that I made some bread and butter pickles based on this recipe - I thought it was going to make about twice what it did, I got four half-litre jars. Still, it was my first time being properly able to process something in the water bath canner as well as using my jar-picker-upper thingy for the first time. And actually between the vinegar, the spices and the onions this actually does smell really good (despite the cucumber). Hopefully it'll taste okay too.

And for me, just to get away from all the cucumber, I made some jam using up the raspberries I didn't manage to finish yesterday, some redcurrants and two-thirds of the strawberries from yesterday (I ate the rest over the course of this evening, the last of them with some ice-cream. Yum.) - all of that made 1225g so I just added the same weight of sugar and, once the sugar was all dissolved, the juice of three lemons (just short of 150ml). I also realised that my new copper pot, although perfectly flat when cool, seems to warp when the heat is on so I spent a good part of the jam-making time holding the two handles so that it was more flat against the electric ring of the cooker. I did use the thermometer this time but it never quite got exactly up to the magic setting point and I lost patience with waiting/was afraid it was going to burn if I kept it on the heat any longer. And I was getting fed up of holding down the pot and getting little hot jam splashes on my arms. So I have some more runny jam. Thank goodness for jam tart recipes.

I do have one or two photos, which I'll try and post tomorrow. In the meantime here's a video which obviously explains why my food never quite looks like the pictures in the books :-)

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