Supermarkets often have the same stuff available all year round, but fruit and veg are in fact very seasonal, as you will know all too well if you grow your own (successfully!). Some types of apple keep well for example. With other produce, you can have a sudden glut and there's only so many gooseberries that you can eat at once. And it can be a fuss picking all the blackcurrants - though the birds will help you out.
There are various ways of making your fruit and veg last longer, which I'll be chatting about here. However if you still have too much, why not offer it to family and friends - or to anyone else nearby using Freegle.
We've got a fair number of blackcurrants and gooseberries at the moment. These are lovely in pies or crumbles and can be frozen - or preserved in Kilner jars. The BBC Good Food guide has plenty of ideas for gooseberries.
Jam is pretty straight forward to do provided you've got a big pan to boil up the fruit, sugar and water - and some clean jam jars with good lids - hint: ask for them on Freegle. Start off by putting a saucer in the fridge to cool it down - you'll need this later. For blackcurrant jam, simmer 1kg of fruit (slightly unripe is OK) in 600ml of water until tender. Add a 1kg bag of sugar and wait until it has dissolved, then turn up the heat and boil rapidly for at least 10 minutes while stirring. Drop a small amount of the broth onto the saucer and put back in the fridge. When cool, see if it wrinkles when you push the jam with your finger - if it does then it's done. Carefully fill the jars right to the top and put on the lids, then wipe down. See photos of the process on Facebook.
- Recipe for gooseberry jam
- Guide to preserving and pickling in kilner jars
- Some PACT recipes inc kale soup
I'll tell you about jam, gin and chutney in in the autumn.
Let me know your favourite recipes for using up your summer glut.