This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

My preserves for the year

I've not got very far off the starting blocks in terms of preserving this year. Truth to tell, we still have quite a lot of jam and pickles from last year and some from the year before but I would still like to make some so that I have things that are useful for gift baskets at Christmas. I tend to make a small amount of pickles and/or chutney each year anyway. My husband is a staunch fan of Branston and eats that only rarely and therefore doesn't eat my homemade offerings. I love them but it takes a while to get through a jar on my own and I like variety and as they keep for literally years. I make some each year so that I can have variety. I also put some in my Christmas gift baskets.

So far this summer, I have made lots of cordial. I had to give up tea and coffee a couple of years ago because they started upsetting me. It was hard to give them up but my insides have been so much happier that I am glad that I did. So I have a good lemon cordial recipe that I was given many years ago and ring the changes sometimes by replacing one of the lemons with a grapefruit or an orange. It is much more concentrated than bought squash and tastes miles better and it is definitely cheaper. It is also very easy so I'll keep making it. I have also made about a gallon of elderflower cordial and have some elderflowers in the freezer for future cordials. When I made the elderflower cordial and had sieved it to bottle it,  the lemons looked way too good to throw out in the compost. So I reused them and the elderflowers too and made a half batch of what tasted more like lemon with a hint of elderflower cordial. It was very nice.

I also made a double batch of elderflower champagne. I found it a little strong this year so I dilute it with a good dollop of sparkling water. This makes it go further so I am happy about that as it will last longer. It is really refreshing on a hot summer's day. Now if only I knew where to get one of those....
: )

I'll add to this list as I make things so that I have a list that is useful to me, come Christmas.


Raspberry allsorts


Sweet chilli sauce (present for my son)
Green tomato and banana chutney
Sweet cucumber relish (two batches, one with extra onion)


Elderflower with a hint of lemon


Bottled apple sauce



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