a busy domestic blog of knitting, sewing and all kinds of needlecrafts, cooking my garden produce and preserving it

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Bringing summer back to the kitchen

It's January so you can't expect the weather to be warm and sunny, but I always find it a good time, especially on a miserable rainy day, to raid the freezer and bring back the scents of summer to the kitchen.

First, my lazy version of passata. Frozen tomatoes are much easier to peel than fresh - drop them in boiling water and the skin falls off - then I just simmer them for a while till they're cooked and the consistency looks right. At this point, a more enthusiastic person might sieve the pips out. I don't mind them in soup or pasta sauces, so I don't bother with the fuss. I just pour the gloop into jars and boil to seal. The last bit always used to worry me - boiling a glass jar seems such a wrong thing to do - but, so far, I haven't had any accidents.

Then, a few days later, spurred on by the sight of stored apples rotting in their boxes, I decided to make jam. It's probably possible to use just apples but that doesn't seem a very exciting spread for toast or whatever, so I'd normally add some blackberries out of the freezer - this time, for a bit of variety, I used raspberries. I use roughly 2lbs apples to 1lb of other fruit, which I find works well. The jam tastes of the berries, but doesn't contain anything like the amount of seeds as jam made solely from them. It's more culinary laziness really.

We still have quite a few home-grown apples remaining, so I need to find some way of using them  - not cakes or puddings but maybe in casseroles with pork or sausages.

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