Preserving Perseverance!

Article for East Essex Smallholding Group website on Preserving and Jam Making:

Firstly, a big thank you to East Essex Smallholders for letting me guest blog-very exciting!
So a little bit about me: I am Katy, a Suffolk 23 yr old trying to currently live life a little greener and saving a bit of money along the way. I have Chickens at home who supply a constant amount of eggs for recipes, even through the cold dark days of winter! My veg growing of a decent salad crop and herbs has been put on hold till spring due to weather conditions here but there are still things to be done.
One of the things I have loved doing in the last few years has been preserving. Now I know everyone thinks of the WI and fetes when I say preserving but I think its all part of the fun of making preserves-the fact you can access a wealth of knowledge and advice from so many people and societies, you can enter fun competitions and gain lots more recipes to try or invent your own! I entered a local fete 2 years ago for the first time with a plum and apple jam; up against seasoned village preservers and actually got ranked with a certificate which was fun! At home in Suffolk I was making big batches of what ever glut of fruit we had-Strawberry, apple, plum or more commonly plum and apple! This caused me to on more than one occasion give friends and family plenty of jam for any celebratory event be it Christmas, a birthday or just for fun.
I love the fact that jam keeps so well and the recipes are easy to follow and you can change and alter them. Its nice to have something you can make a decent product out of-particularly if you are not good at other smallholding and self-sufficiency skills such as craft-like me! My family has experimented with some different preserves and flavours such as : crab apple jelly and quince cheese (both good with cold meats) and Indian pumpkin chutney. In the summer I was wanting to do a chutney. I tried a walnut, apple and pear chutney from a Scottish recipe
book which came out amazing and very tasty with cheese!
Lastly, trying something else potted I made my own vegetarian mincemeat for my mince pies this Christmas. I really enjoyed this and they turned out extra special. In the New Year I hope to try some other more unusual preserves-we will see how they go! I would say to anyone ‘have a go what ever your age and wherever you live be it farm or flat-its good fun, easy and they make great home made presents!’

One thought on “Preserving Perseverance!

  1. When I was young, we had both peach and plum trees in our backyard that would rain down fruit all summer long if we didn’t pick it! My mom decided to can the peaches and plums one year, but it took so much work that we never did it again. The birds thanks us though!

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