Bottling

Do you find yourself sometimes remembering things from your childhood that you didn’t know you knew?

Well today was one on those days…..

……someone had very kindly given us a couple of buckets of apples, ‘a mixture of windfalls and picked, not sure what they are… anyway would you like them?’ Yes absolutely!

So over the last couple of days I’ve been ‘processing them’, peeling, coring, chopping and then bottling them. Feeling very close to my mum all the time…

I often find that when I’m doing the sort of jobs that would have had us sitting for together processing whatever had come out from their very productive garden – wheelbarrows full of dad’s leeks or onions – whatever it was that week.. It’s often the smells for me that bring back memories…. somehow they seem to trigger them… I remember not that long after my mother died taking the family to our local pick your own and suddenly being overwhelmed amongst the raspberry canes with memories of mum and picking raspberries in the garden along with her cat.

Anyway sitting here typing this with the smell of apples strong on my fingers and filling the house, the memories of mum opening jars of apples for family puddings came flooding back….in later years mum tended to freeze most produce from the garden and so have I. But over the last few years I have returned to bottling or preserving fruits in jars for use later in the year.

For me it has several advantages over freezing:

  • they don’t need defrosting!  – I’m not always the most organised where meal planning is concerned!
  • they don’t take up space in the freezer
  • they’re not using electricity to be stored
  • once processed  you have ready to eat fruit
  • they last a long time in the jar and don’t deteriorate as some fruits do in the freezer
  • you can make the most of seasonal gluts or gifts!

Anyway after an afternoon peeling, slicing, cooking etc. (which I would have had to do if they had gone in the freezer), I now have 14 jars of ready to eat stewed apple for lots of lovely puddings this winter…. crumbles, pies, tarts, cobblers, stewed with rice pudding, cold with yoghurt …… and some forgotten memories of mum and family life….

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