Jammed and in a Pickle!


           Jammed and in a Pickle!

During the gardening year it is of course a warm, satisfying feeling harvesting and eating produce.

A big part of the pleasure is the preserves that result i.e. Jams and pickles.

As a little aside when we were looking for a house to buy here in France, an old lady showed us around her cellar displaying jars upon jars of preserved fruits, vegetables etc. Sheila said to the lady ” Vous avez beaucoup si les préservatifs ”  …The lady looked confused and a tad embarrassed – préservatifs in French refers to condoms!

We have regularly prepared pickles, even when In England. Sheila makes piccalilli every year, for our own consumption, and also those of friends. Christmas is the traditional time of year, and when we travel back to the UK we are taking more and more jars over with us. We have also dabbled, occasionally in jams: However this year we have had an abundance of soft fruits, so it is with great enthusiasm we have “been jamming”!


Yesterday we made raspberry, gooseberry and black currant jams. Adding to the strawberry, a no cook raspberry jam, and the marmalade we prepared from the Seville oranges we picked up in the UK in February.

We have also pickled vegetables in the Italian way, with a slightly sweetened liquid. 

A favourite of ours, discovered last year, is courgette pickle – we love this so much that we buy in courgettes when ours have finished fruiting. See recipe

Chutneys are made from red and green tomatoes – plus a fabulous Green Tomato pickle, from Lindsey Barnham’s Big Red Tomato Book – time consuming, but so worth the effort. The resulting “pickle” is not vinegary, but sweet and unctuous, and could easily be passed off as figs of plums and served with good dollop of vanilla ice cream. We cannot leave tomatoes without mentioning the litres of passata and other tomato based sauces, we make every year.

I have mentioned Sheila’s annual piccalilli fest but she also makes several jars of lemon curd – eaten by the spoon full by David Oakley, my brother-in-law!  The lemon curd is great for making desserts, or, just spread on fresh bread, and, butter, or, toast. It has a short shelf life so needs to be devoured quickly, not a problem! See recipe

So time consuming?  Yes! But certainly a truly satisfying and pleasurable past time.


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