August 30, 2016

Preservation time

It is preservation time.
It has been a while already:
it started when blueberries were ripen in the woods.
And it will go on until apples and potatoes are harvest.
This year I have been making jam.
A lot of jam...
This was a quite good year with blueberries,
but unfortunately I hadn't chance to go into woods as often as I would like to.
But there is a limit,
how much you are able to use berries, too.
Blueberry jam
Making jam is easy,
but a little laborious.
First: washing jars and lids.
Then leave them in to water over night so all the microbies will wake up.
Then, boil the lids.  And jars. To get those microbies dead.
I don't boil the jars
- just because I do not have a pot large enough,
so I "bake" them in the oven, 10-15 minutes in 125C.
Then, at the same time,
when lids are boiling and jars are baked,
I boil the jam.
Berries and sugar-
about 500 g sugar for each kilo.
And yes, it will be sweet.
I have run out of pectine, and couldn't find pure pectine this year,

so my jams will be more fluided than normally.
When sugar has melted and berries have boiled about 10 minutes,

jam is ready for jars.
Hot jars, hot lids and hot jam.
In each jar there should be about 2 cm empty space
- otherwise lids won't seal.
As I do not have pot big enough,
I put all the jars into oven: 125C and 15 minutes.
When they are taken out and cooling,
there will be "blop", "blop", "blop",
when lids are sealing.
And they are ready.
I also made raspberry jam.
And blueberry-raspberry jam.
I use to let sugar stay over the berries a while,
so it starts to melt before cooking.
And even though most recipes says to put a little water in,
I don't.
There is a risk:
boiling jam need to be watched out
- otherwise it might burn into bottom of the pot.
I burn just one.
Uh, ugly brown cover under the bottom of the pot.
I am glad I know the trick for that:
boiling some laundry detergent and water in the pot will get it all out.
Works for pots made from steel.
I did waterbath something:
one jar of strawberry jam
and two for gooseberries in the sugarwater.
We ate all the strawberries from our garden straight away,
and the price of them was very high this year,
so I didn't bought much.
Actually there wasn't left from eating more than one jar of jam.
This was the very first time,
when I preserved gooseberris in sugarwater,
so I am not sure how they will be.
But if they are good 
- hadn't tried yet, cause we still have some in bushes to eat - 
I sure make them again.
It couldn't be easier:
clean berries,
add 10% sugarwater on them ad waterbath 10-15 minutes.
I am keeping them in cold, just in case.
What else?
Red, white, pink, green and black.
Mixed and by themselves.
I add some vanilla sugar into some of the black ones, too.
White. With apple.Without apple.
Harvest of black currant was smaller than normal.
Birds ate a lot of reds.
But there is still a lot of white left.
I think I'll make juice with apples from them.
Several hundred kilos of apples,
which I try to give away as much as possible....

Garden plot haven't been success this summer:
if there will be sunny days,
I might get few tomatoes.
Potatoes, maybe,
but no peas or beans.
Two zuccini are eaten, and some more might be coming
-if the arianta arbustorums won't eat them.
They sure try.

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