Allison has been experimenting with some traditional technologies.
We bought some Fowler’s equipment at a garage sale in Goulburn. This is the traditional bottling system used by everybody’s grandmothers.
We got lots of bottles, and two old boilers — one electric and one stove-top. The electric one blew all our fuses, so it has been tossed. Now Allison’s using our biggest stainless steel stock-pot and a thermometer, and everything’s great. We don’t have fruit ourselves yet, so she’s been collecting surpluses from friends and sometimes buying commercial fruit when it’s in season. Recently she bottled some apricots with fresh basil leaves, which works really well.
She’s also been experimenting with jams and chutneys. This started before we moved to Goulburn, with a very successful apricot and walnut chutney, and some great plum sauce. Since moving here, Allison’s been doing a lot with nectarines (in bulk from our neighbour Gail) and our own rhubarb.
Of course, these have been good activities for involving wwoofers in. Here’s Alissa and Hanna making jam. They have been cooking us some great German fare too.
Today was the Royal Canberra Show, and Allison entered a jam and a chutney. I really thought her rhubarb and ginger jam would get a ribbon, as it’s a sensational taste combination — but no good this year. She now has a finer appreciation of the show circuit, and will enter again next year with a little more polish.