Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Pickling and spices

Over the past few weeks I've been doing some pickling, bread and butter cucumber pickles, my home grown beetroot and onions.    I've just gott back into this after quite few years abscence, I used to make jams, chutneys, pickles and sauces, it feels good to be in the kitchen again.  I've been using and old recipe book by Family Circle, this has anything you may want to preserve or bottle, jams, jellies, pickles, relishes, chutney and sauces.  This book is well used and the one I always turn to.  My mum had a Vacolas bottling kit and what seemed like a thousand bottles with bands and clips, every year we spent days in the kitchen with her blanching and skinning tomatoes to bottle, to make sauce, cutting green tomatoes and vegetables for pickles and skinning fruit to preserve in jars for the winter.    Mum bought boxes of fruit that we did'nt grow in our yard,  it seemed like most of our summer holidays were holed up inside, in fact it was probably just a few days or maybe a week.    It was so good in the winter to be able to open what had been stored.   I recently asked my dad if the Vacolas unit was in the shed, to my disappointment it was'nt,  I have checked the internet and was blown away by the pricing on the new units.   The new Vacolas units are electric,  I remember mum's being a stove top unit, boy our house must have been hot in the summer with that pot cooking on the stove almost non stop.     The weather-board house I grew up in had no insulation in the roof and no air-conditioner, I do remember sleeping outside some nights until the mosquitoes buzzing around sent us back inside the house.