Monday, December 13, 2010

Preparing to Preserve the stone fruit harvest

The last few years most of our fruit preserving has either been jam making or freezing. Quite satisfactory in many ways. However I have always wanted to do "proper" bottling of fruit, tomato sauce etc. A few weeks ago we came across a box of Fowler's Vacola jars in an op shop for only $10 for fifteen jars, a very good price. I bought these and then started to hunt for a preserving unit. One of the reasons I wanted one was that I think an electric unit will reduce the amount of heat in the kitchen when we preserve and as it usually in the high thirties when the stone fruit is ripe that will be very welcome. Once the fruit is bottled there is no further electricity costs as there is with freezing and the jars are reusable. So a good solution on many levels. I decided I didn't like the look of the  new plastic preserving units and the new stainless steel ones are very expensive.
I found a beautiful second hand stainless steel unit on ebay, perfect for our kitchen. As a free bonus the seller also gave me about fifty jars of various sizes. I just need some more clips and lids and I am ready to go.
 The plums are just starting to change color
 Maybe the peaches will be the first to be ripe this year
 The first year we were here the peaches were as big as golf balls, this one is more like a tennis ball!

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