Thursday, 7 November 2013

At Least I'm Well Preserved!

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago but didn't have chance to finish it, I'm still struggling to find time to blog; I am trying to keep up to date with reading everyone else's blogs though - I mean everyone that I follow, not absolutely everyone's on the net!!

I'm still working a lot more hours and worrying about the job for all the hours I'm not actually in the office too. The extra pay will be good though so that's keeping ,me focussed! I know the Builder feels very under pressure to be the breadwinner and as he gets older the job seems to get a lot harder, he's so full of aches and pains these days - a result of many years manual hard work and playing sport even harder!
 I did find a little time for some Autumn preserving - I love making jam and chutneys, especially as the days are getting cold and wet outside. My lovely sister in law bought me all the preserving equipment for my birthday some years ago; as I've explained before my birthdays are notoriously bad! And that year was no exception, I'd arrived home alone after a shopping trip to find my sis in law had let herself into our house (we're so very burglar proof!!) while I was out and had left spread all over the kitchen table everything I would need to make jams and preserves! It was one of the best presents I've ever had and such a lovely surprise - I love my sis in law dearly but she can be as random as my husband, gifts can range from something quite odd which she'd previously won in a competition to a meal for two, babysitter included, at a lovely restaurant.
A lady at work had offered me some home grown, very sour, grapes for jam, I happily accepted the offer and she brought them into work - however there were a few more than I'd expected!
There were two of these tubs!
This year on a wet and windy Sunday I decided it was time to make and put away some chutney for Christmas, out came the books, out came the pan and I decided on some Apple and walnut chutney - mainly for the Builder as I can't bear nuts of any kind. And also time to do something with the 2 tons of grapes which were starting to look a little sad.
First I picked the grapes from the stalks, weighed them and bubbled them up in my pan with some sugar; they were very "tart" grapes.
 They started to turn an amber colour which is so attractive.
Then unfortunately I had to push the gloopy liquid through a sieve as there were lots of pips. I'm sure there must be a proper gadget for this job, sadly not a gadget I own.

Then it was time to pot it into warm jars, I love this bit - I come over all housewifey
and feel productive!

I love them on the windowsill with the sun shining through, the finished jam is a lovely colour
 and the taste is a little like marmalade.
The chutney was finished too (complaints from the kids that the kitchen and in fact
the whole house smells "disgusting"!)
At the same time a little chef was at work on the other side of the kitchen.

It was as I was clearing everything away that I came across all the jam and chutney I made this time last year (and some from the year before)!!
I should add that although I love to make it not really anyone in the house like to eat it!!
Oh well, the charity fair is next week, we'll have to have a preserves stall!
"See" you all soon, and Tammy I'm still working on those questions!


  1. I struggle sometimes to get around to writing and reading blogs and have found that when I'm busy not to struggle to get this done otherwise it just becomes another job rather than a pleasure. I am impressed with all your jam and chutney. Your cottage must have smelt wonderful.
    Sarah x

  2. And that's why I will never make chutney - even though I would enjoy the process! No-one likes it! I did chuckle when I saw your 'previous'!
    It is so easy to get out of sync with the blog isn't it? And I struggle keep up with other blogs that I enjoy reading - I wish people wouldn't blog 5-6 times a week!!
    I look forward to hearing about the chutney stall .......

  3. Don't forget to have a little more 'you' time, it's important when you are stressed.
    I'm struggling to keep up with my own blog let alone reading my favourites Jay! I enjoy making preserves too, especially jams and jellies. I enjoyed making some pear and walnut chutney last year for gifts, but we don't eat chutney either.
    I'm still collecting my autumn raspberries and freezing them ready for a jam making session - though my redcurrant crop is still in the freezer awaiting time to make day soon I hope.

  4. All that effort, just to add more jars to the cupboard! That did make me laugh. Now and again I become all housewifey too and make jam. I do it in small batches and it's only me who eats it.
    Your post reminded me of when my son Rory was little, I was giving him some grapes with his lunch. I said I wouldn't give him the green grapes as they were looking a bit sad. His reply was, 'Are the black grapes happy, Mummy?'.

  5. That's an impressive line-up of preserves! I love chutney and rely on a friend (a farmer's wife) who regularly gifts me with a jar. You could add a little Christmas fabric cap to the jars and gift them to friends and family :-)
    Have a lovely weekend, hope it's a relaxing one.

  6. How very productive indeed! I bet those jars looked so pretty with the sunlight gleaming through them.
    Maybe make a mound of toast for breakfast this weekend and slaver it in your new jam!
    Lisa x

  7. That looks so good; luckily all my tomatoes turned red so I didn't need to look up how to make chutney. Husband had three lovely chutneys as a gift from a local maker & I keep reminding him to eat them !

  8. Looks great, decorating with jam and chutney, sounds good. I only make peach jam and my husband helps me or I'd never get it done.

    1. I made lovely apricot jam one year, the only year the tree produced any fruit. Peach jam sounds divine!

  9. I'm very envious of all your jam and chutney making. I have made a couple of jars of chutney so far but hope to do more soon. I do agree about catching up with reading blog posts. Sometimes it can take hours to catch up if I've missed a weekend and it then becomes a chore rather than an enjoyable pastime. Have a good weekend.
    Patricia x

  10. Dang, you have been productive. and that is a LOT of grapes. But that pantry full of all those jars, what a wonderful thing.

    1. That's the thing - I love to see them lining the shelves, pity no one eats it though!

  11. Sorry to hear you're having such a busy time at work, and worrying about it when you're not there. But the chutney and jam looks fab - there's something very therapeutic about preserving, isn't there?

  12. Oh Now I long to be housewifey and productive too, instead of throwing out all that fruit my kids don't eat I should be boiling it up. Jam is my favourite sweet thing

  13. I am soooooo jealous of you! a beautiful kitchen and you can perform housewifey magic in it........

  14. What lovely site - all those beautiful jars. I love Chutney and will make it if I can't find it for a decent price, but never dreamt of putting walnuts in it. I'm a Major Grey fan - Mangos and Tamarind, with peppers, raisins, and onions. I'm going to look for an apple type.