Thursday, 23 February 2012
That time of year again. I love the line up of fruit, it goes something like this. Rhubarb (not really a fruit), blackcurrants, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, apricots, plums, nectarines, peaches. Can't remember where the gooseberries come into that line up. This year the goats broke in and ate them before they came to fruition. Lemons we get pretty much year round. Still waiting on apples and pears.
It's been a similar line up of jams, dried fruit, frozen and preserves. The nectarines were for some reason absolutely sublime. The last one was eaten only yesterday.
My mother used to buy fruit and preserve it when I was younger. Two hundred or so Agee jars a year. The kitchen would be even hotter on the hottest days of the year and the wasps used to hang around attracted by all the fruit.
In my mother's tradition I don't add anything but a teaspoon of sugar to the top of the jar. This increases acidity and reduce the likelihood of the dreaded botulism.
The only problem with opening a jar of any kind of fruit in our house is Caleb's ability to inhale them. Though never quite as good as fresh summer fruit straight off the tree, preserving is a great way to keep a little summer sunshine in a bottle for a cold winter's day.