Each year, as local produce becomes available, my thoughts turn to making preserves as gifts, and for my store cupboard.
My favourite recipe is for brown chutney (which I nostalgically call Pat’s Branston Pickle); I begin the tedious preparation journey. Actually, it first has to begin in my head, then I have to harness the motivation to begin the meticulous step-by-step procedure.
Buy produce. Collect jars.
Sterilize jars and lids.
Measure and weigh. ingredients.
Peel. Chop. Throw into pan (whoops-place into pan. Takes a while to do all this). Did I mention how long this takes to do? 🙂
Stir to incorporate even distribution of ingredients.
Take a deep sigh. It’s a lot of work, but so worth it.
This year, I decided to photograph the stages. Even if only to remind
myself of why I feel so tired after hours of peeling, chopping, cutting and mixing.
It causes me to feel that I am a magician creating concoctions in my cauldrons. My saucepans to allow the sterilization and cooking processes are large.
I only use them for my annual chutney making and pickling sessions, and for soups come winter.
Being of small stature, I actually need to use a step stool in order to check out the contents of the larger pan. Go on – go right ahead and laugh!!!! 🙂
Truth be told, despite the resulting pain (from arthritis) I experience from the peeling, chopping, preparation; the standing and stirring processes, I love the end product. The chutney has multiple uses. In sandwiches, with cheese, cold meats even as a side with salad.
As Christmas gifts, I assemble gift baskets for our children and include a sample of each of my ‘creations of the year.’ My hope is that they are enjoyed in whatever form they choose to use them.
My beautiful daughter-in-law, Lucy, told me once that she often adds one (or more) to her own creations for additional flavouring. In fact, I occasionally do the same.
Whatever works – works for me, as long as my efforts are enjoyed.
Closer to Christmas, I begin another cauldron task. I collect multiple ingredients for a favourite Christmas cake. It is a firm favourite for us all. I make only enough for the gift season. The cake is costly and labour-intensive, but, again, so worth it.
Back to preserves! My tomato and apple chutney is gently bubbling on the stove. My eyes are feeling the affects of vinegar in the air, so stirring is now critical. After all the work, I would hate to burn my efforts.
So, off I go to the kitchen. Hoping for another successful bottling season.
Hope you all enjoy your day!