My Grandma was a great cook, growing up in the country feeding the men on the farm, recipe after recipe passed down from generation to generation, friend to friend.
I remember making jam with grandma, it took ages, but oh my- nothing is as amazingly sweet, tasty and satisfying as making your own preserves.
It makes me sad to think it is a bit of a dying art. Jams, relish, chutney, pickled vegetables all these things that everyone’s fridges are filled with, bought from the supermarket, costing a small fortune.
When all you really need to do is check what fruit or vegetables are in season, buy in bulk from the fruit shop and spend a day pottering in the kitchen.
Who has time, I hear you say… no one really- but make time. Teach the kids how to make a beautiful jar of something to give to their favorite teacher, or great Aunt? Invite a friend over and make it together, while the kids play- that is if you have kids. If not invite a friend over spend the day making relish and celebrate a hard days work with some wine. My parents meet up once a year with some friends and they spend the day pickling onions and gherkins- if you all chip in it costs next to nothing and you go home with a car boot full of tasty wares.
Mr Lid and I will spend a day pottering, he will make beer or fruit wine, while I make relishes to go with our favorite cheeses.
I had a flick through Grandmas Recipe book the other day and found a recipe for Kiwi fruit chutney- the hardest thing about making your own preserves it that it takes time to develop flavours, but I can not wait to open it and try some in a week or so.
Kiwi fruit Chutney
1.5 kg Kiwi Fruit- peel and chop
2 3/4 cups Brown Sugar
1 cup Raisins
2 3/4 cups Vinegar (I used Malt Vinegar)
6 Onions- peel and cut finely
3 Tbs Ground Ginger (you could use 2 Tbs fresh grated ginger)
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ground Cloves and Allspice
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Put everything in a pot EXCEPT the Kiwi fruit.
Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer for around 30min- keep an eye on the liquid levels, if you find these are getting very low add some water or more vinegar.
You want the onion to be soft before you add the Kiwi fruit- this may take longer than 30 min.
Add the Kiwi fruit and cook for another 20min or till desired consistency.
Do not be afraid to taste the chutney while cooking (be careful not to breath in the vinegar vapors)
Like Grandma used to do make alot of this and put in steralised jars to keep in the pantry for ages- although it always gets eaten before then.
While the Chutney is cooking sterilise jars and lids
1. Preheat your oven to 150°C.
2. Wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water.
3. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on an oven tray.
Note: If lids contain a rubber lining or look ‘fragile’, place them in a saucepan of boiling water and leave to ‘simmer’ on the stove while the jars are in the oven.
4. Leave jars in oven for 15-20 minutes.
5. When you remove from the oven, avoid contamination by moving the jars from the tray using sterilised tongs that have been dipped in boiling water for a few minutes. Avoid using towels or your hands, especially around the lid of the jar!
Tips: Bottle hot preserves in hot jars and cooled preserves in cold jars.