Wednesday 4 March 2020

Preserving Non Homegrown Produce

I very much fall into a trap when it comes to preserving.

I wrongly think it should all be homegrown or fresh.

This isn't the case and is a bad way to look at it. There is a huge range of ingredients that I can't grow, don't grow or have crops fail that I can use. I remember the best jam I ever made was from peaches but I don't even have a tree here to make that glorious preserve (and who would have thought I'd link to a post seven years old to show it)!

Currently in our pantry there are about a dozen jars of damson jam and a few cherry syrup ones left that I made on holiday and that's it. So not much variety no matter how much you like damson jam!

I do have a few random bags of soft fruit in the freezer that needs using up but I've always fancied some blueberry jam. We've never had enough to preserve, any the birds don't steal we eat fresh so I've just never really thought about making it. The supermarkets have frozen fruit really reasonably priced so I picked up three bags of blueberries the other day and set to making some jam.

It was a big hit the next morning! I think this will go well with our damson supplies and make the jam last until we have some more soft fruit ready to preserve in the summer.

I've gone a bit mad to fill the gap in our soft fruit shortage. As well as the plums I planted in the last post I've also ordered lots of soft fruit bushes to go in, and lots of different varieties of each as well as some more unusual ones (it's good for my talks is my excuse) and I'll do a post with the full list soon!

Hopefully we won't have a jam shortage again anytime soon!

Do you make preserves with store brought produce?


  1. I make a cranberry/strawberry preserve that is quite good. Usually make it November/December time frame to take advantage of fresh cranberries in stores and use frozen strawberries. Used to go to pick pears and make pear butter and pear conserve. I need to make that again as I love pears.

  2. I know exactly what you mean - it's almost as if it isn't home grown we shouldn't consider preserving it, which is crackers. Do you have a recipe for the cherry syrup pls? I'm going to dehydrate some things from Aldi Super 6 now you have reminded me! Thanks!

  3. Hi Kev, I was bought up with growing your own, and having produce easily to hand on a seasonal basis and freezing the bulk of the ingredients if not in a position to deal with it there and then and then every so often having a jam day with fruit from the freezer. However as I only have a small garden and it does not produce as much as I would wish I have for the best part to rely on my local veg shop. However they are different in that they also source a lot of veg produced by independent growers in the fens around Spalding/Wisbech so in many respects it is as good as growing your own. They also source ingredients that I ask for. I also use the offers in the supermarkets where I can. The preserving seasons were many years set in stone with a certain product being only made at a particular time of year which for the best part I follow. However if an opportunity presents itself i.e. an offer on fruit or indeed veg out of season then I am going to take advantage of that. Being the keeper of your cupboards in many respects means that you have to be an opportunist. Sometimes these offers can create a product that you can freeze and then make something later on out of when you have more time or provide more of something that you could potentially run out of. Equally if you have a precious food source like apples and you make a jelly out of them do not throw the pulp away make a "cheese" out of it so that you in effect maximise your return for your product. The same can be done with making Dried Apricot wine and then making a chutney out of the "pulp" of the apricots. We can at the end of the day only make the best of what comes our way whether that be home grown, shop bought, farmer's market, fruit farm etc. It is what you do with it at the end of the day that counts. Keep up the good work. Tricia

  4. I watch the stores for sales during the summer, and I’ll buy strawberries, blackberries and blueberries, freeze them, and make jam in the winter. We grow all three of those things, but not in large enough amounts.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...