Although I’ve found managing the produce that comes off the plot this year much more manageable. I’ve eaten a lot more veg as it comes off the plot, I love the idea of putting up food that I’ve grown. Probably because I read lots of American blogs and people like Sarah and Cassie do a lot more canning than I do.
Generally, the US is more adapted than the UK for full on food preserving. I make jam and in Jan/Feb spend quite a bit of time making marmalade but I don’t water bath jam, I read quite an impressive post last week on why the way we do things in the UK is wrong, wrong, wrong and I’m still not going to water bath jam. Jam shouldn’t last forever and you shouldn’t have so much that you keep it for more than a season, if you have that much jam, give it away or don’t make as much! I also don’t have the jars for it!Preserving by bottling is an art that is very lost in the UK (assuming we ever had it) and preserving is more difficult to do here because it’s harder and more expensive to get the right equipment. I love Kilner jars, especially these ones, but they are expensive. Ball seems to have launched in the UK and are slightly cheaper but still quite expensive and are in US sizes. Despite that, I need to get a little bit more into this because the other option is another freezer. You can see all the reasons that Ma doesn’t want to get another half plot, can’t you? I decided to start with the tomatoes. Because I had a few and I had bought some more jars in August!
So I read around the subject and decided to try preserving them using this method, from Food in Jars, which was pretty simple. I had enough for three jars. I’m feeling very proud of myself. Although the whole boiling something for 85 minutes was traumatic, next time I’m going to put distilled vinegar in the water so the limescale doesn’t accumulate on my jars!(Please excuse the terrible picture, the only time I had to do this was early in the morning and it’s September the light is not great and I didn’t use a proper camera!)
I followed the method to the letter and I’m not bothered about the separation so sometime in the winter, there I’ll be with a tomato sauce made with my own tomatoes. Go me!