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September 2019



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Lunar Eclipse

ysilme in photo_scavenger

The fruit of my labour

Oh dear, I'm so far behind, but life has been surprisingly busy lately, and to answer this prompt I needed certain weather-related requirements which meant I didn't manage it in the proper prompt week.

But finally, my entry for preserve - another one about canned goods. Not very original, but delicious - samples of my favourite home-made preserves ever:

Our old apple-tree, climbing fortress for cats, hanging post for the hammock, winter buffet for
countless birds, and manufacturer of the basics for apple juice and apple sauce. The sauce I make
myself, for the juice we bring the apples to the local co-op and get delicious, naturally cloudy,
sugar-fee juice for  ten cent the bottle.
Hard to the left of the apple tree, you see a small little tree we just re-planted: our quince tree.
Despite having been replanted six weeks ago, it has been blooming very beautifully (the blooming
tree pictures are acutally two weeks old, but the following took longer to make.) Quince marmalade
is my absolute favourite bread spread ever, closely followed by:

... rhubarb-ginger jam, which you see here in the making. The diced rhubarb had been mulling
with the diced ginger and sugar over night and is now cooking.

At the side, I'm trying rhubarb syrup for the first time. It smelled wonderful.

And this is the result. Five small bottles of syrup, twelve small jars of jam from about 5 kilos rhubarb.

These are my favourite preserves, missing two I had neither jars nor plants to shoot: elderflower jelly and
gingered sweet-sour pumpkin pickle. The jars always seem to vanish into thin air after some time.... *g*


gingered sweet-sour pumpkin pickle

That sounds very interesting! It is pumpkin that you pickled or some other veggie or fruit with pumpkin flavor?
No, "proper" pumpkin (or is that squash? I never can remember the correct term for it) - the variety cucurbita moschata, with a firm flesh staying firm when preserved. It might be the typical one used for jack'o lanterns, but I'm not sure.

The recipe is my own variety of one of my Granny's old ones, as I love ginger and loved her sweet-sour pumpkin. If you're interested, I have translated the recipe here. (Let me know if something is unclear in the recipe, my kitchen English is not very good.)
It's a traditional side dish for a traditional family dinner, prime boiled beef with horesradish sauce, served with potatoes, sweet and sour pumpkin and sour plums. I often just eat it out of the jar, though, and otherwise just with potatoes and horse-radish sauce as the veggie variety.
We'd call it butternut squash. Our pumpkins contain little firm flesh--it's pulpy. And yummy. We use pumpkin pulp in pies and soups. Can't have Thanksgiving or Christmas without a pumpkin pie! Although that's been curtailed for me since I became diabetic.

We also have butternut squash, but it looks differently, though it has firm flesh as well. It would be too small for pickling, though; you'd need several of them. The pumpkins sold hereabouts for those who do jack-o-lanterns are different, too, also containing pulply flesh.
Oh, that all looks so good!
Thanks! :o)
What a beautiful tree.

I love rhubarb - especially in fools or crumbles. So much do I love it as it is that I never actually make jam. Fortunately our local shop sells good rhubarb and ginger jam!
Awesome icon! :o))) Mine shows an apple form that tree, btw.

I first came to the idea of rhubarb-ginger jam from a jar I bought from the British shop, but that one was not gingery enough for my taste and too sweet. My own variety is more sour and has much more ginger. *g* I never made a crumble or fool of it, since these aren't typical dishes hereabouts and I haven't experimented so far. Could you give me a good one for crumble? I'd love to try that, perhaps next week when I have a Chinese friend visiting - introducing her to something she might not yet know! *g*
Our traditional rhubarb cake is made of shortcrust patstry where one-inch-long pieces of rhubarb are put on standing up, the whole covered with a thick layer of soft meringue.

Now I'm hungry.
Crumble; this recipe is more or less
how I make one - but I'd probably not bother with the almonds.

I really like the sound of your rhubarb cake and I'm sure my daughter would like it too - I really must try making it.
Thanks! If you like, I get the recipe from my Mum and translate it; she always beats me to making it, so I don't have it yet.

ETA: what exactly is stem ginger in syrup? I've never heard or seen this before and probably would have to make it myself, or replace it.

Edited at 2013-05-23 08:54 am (UTC)
Stem ginger is sometimes called preserved ginger, it is ginger that has been peeled and preserved in sugar syrup - here's a picture to show you what it looks like.

But you could add crystallised ginger, or no ginger.
As I really love ginger, do you think I can use fresh ginger? Or I could always use a soup spoon of my ginger rhubarb jam. ;o)
As I really love ginger, do you think I can use fresh ginger?

Try it and see - don't see why not.
How lovely to have fruit trees! Mmm, and rhubarb! I used to have that in my little garden but I took it away last summer. I just couldn't keep it in control. So it was easier to get rid of it. :/
We're lucky as we could build our house on a plot which had been in the family for several generations (old farm-land) and been planted with several fruit trees. We had to cut down most of them, but could preserve the apple tree. The plum tree we needed to cut down has spawned a half-wild young one behind the fence which gives us fruit every other year, too; and we're slowly planting the trees we want ourselves, like the quince. I love rhubarb, so I absolutely need to have my own plants, but currently I'm getting it from my mum. Since I saw rhubarb planted decoratively as a shrub in Sweden, I'm plannig to have mine not on the veggie patch but among the shrubs, too. *g*
I've never tasted quince!

Everything looks and sounds delicious.
Quince is absolutely awesome! Most people only know quince jelly, which can be bland or exciting, depending on the fruit variety and if you use small wild ones in it or not. Quince marmalade is something really rare, but the most delicious thing in the world IMHO. What I find most interesting is that the term "marmalade" originates from the quince variety, as the name goes back to a special preserve made from quinces and was later adopted for the more typical lemon fruit marmalades of the British. (See Wiki entry. In German, "Marmelade" is used for all kinds of jams and marmalades, no matter the variety, and often designates the home-made varieties,
Something else to die for made from quinces is quince cheese, as is qunince juice. My father eats it raw in small slices, too, but it's extremely hard and sour and probably more something of a dare. When the fruit is ripe I always have some in the house filling everything with the unique scent.
If you're interested in the fruit, find a Turkish or Persian food shop where they usually sell themin autumn, as they use the fruit for many sweet and savoury dishes. They look like this (scroll down for the images of the fruits). I have a Portuguese quince, and the grown fruits have the size of two fists. They're very hard to cut, and some varieties, paritcularly the "apple quinces" (look more like appels) often have a hairy peel which needs to be taken away first. Preparing them can be hard work, particularly for preserves, but it's so worth the effort.
Thanks for the info! I appreciate it.
I really wish I could do something like that. Sadly, I have no fruit-bearing trees or plants and no skillz. Lovely trees by the way.
I think one doesn't need much skill for preserving jams and chutneys, just a good recipe at first and the will to invest a certain amount of time. Most what I can is a gift from somebody else's garden, collected wild (like the elderflowers I hopefully can get soon to make jelly and syrup) or bought. I love home-made strawberry jam, particularly since I can make it with less sugar, and the vendors even offer baskets of nearly over-ripe fruit at the end of each selling day in the season for jam-making which are also a little cheaper. I'd gladly give you recipes and ideas, but for a beginner it probably would be too difficult to translate this into the things available in your country.

In Germany, we have several gift culture movements around food; one lists "free trees" on a website, as in abandoned fruit trees everybody can come to and harvest the fruit. Otherwise, everybody is allowed to collect the wind-fall under the trees. But depending on the amount of time and energy one wants to and can spend, sometimes buying the fruit is not the worst option. I'm also making completely sugar-free "yoghurt jam", sweetened with stevia, for our yoghurts, and since I only can make small amounts because they have to be stored in the deep-freeze and the space is limited there, I often use deep-frozen fruit and berries for that. My mother has many rasperries, but they taste so delicious fresh that I rather eat them fresh and buy frozen rasperries for jam, as it doesn't make a difference with these.