Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Preserve Me

We have had a fabulous harvest of peaches - white fleshed ones that I didn't know existed until we bit into them. Every bit as gorgeous as 'peachy' coloured peaches, and tasting like honey when picked straight off the tree warmed by the sun. Now my family may well scoff at this knowing that I *didn't* like stoned fruit - seemed like a faff to me to nibble round stones or have them in your mouth just to spit them out after masticating all the flesh off them, so I haven't tried them since I was young - but now I'm old and since we're growing it, it's free food and I can't see it all go to waste so I've given it another go. Mmmmmm is all I can say. Cherries, plums, mirabelles, peaches and nectarines so far.

Some days I feel as though I'm in a jam and chutney making factory but I'm determined that we'll preserve all of this harvest for the winter months. Brilliant info HERE about all sorts of preserving. Next week I'm going to visit a neighbour and she's going to show me how she uses one of those big sterilising units to bottle fruit and veg. That's what I like about rural France - there are still lots of traditional skills used. I just have to find the folk that can show me how.

These sterilising units are on special at our local hardware store at the moment and, apparently when you're not using them to bottle your fruit and veg, you can use them to make yoghurt. I'm thinking of trying this too because it is very difficult here to buy yoghurt that is sans morceaux (without bits of fruit) and Rowan doesn't like the 'bits' ones but loves yoghurt. The trouble is that the only ones sans morceaux are loaded with sugar. I figure if I make our own then we can adjust it to suit us. I do kind of feel that I'm following in my mother's footsteps here as I do remember her making yoghurt when I was a child but I'm afraid that the memories of the yoghurt itself are not good ones - rather sour I seem to remember though I couldn't have told you that as a child, just that they weren't 'right'. Well we'll give it a go. We're contemplating getting some goats a) to eat the brambles and b) to milk. More on that I'm sure at a later date as I still have a lot to find out.

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