Call it what you like either way it all ends up the same. Bottles and bottles of lovely fresh fruit preserved so they will last during the year and be ready to eat at a moments notice.
We are incredibly lucky that Ashley works for some of the fruit growers and is always given heaps of fruit – most of it straight off the tree.
A few days of ripening on the bench and the girls and I were all hands on deck getting the peaches, nectarines and apricots bottled today. I even took a day off work with Ashley to get everything done. There was no time for slacking off just lots of chatting and the slight of busy hands preparing fruit. It reminded me strongly of the days when my grandparents were alive and we would all gather in their shed to “do” apricots and peaches.
To the left bottles waiting to be “cooked”, under the towels nectaries cooling and in the persever are more nectarines.
I am now working my way through all the bottles we have done and getting them into the very old Fowlers Vacola Perserving unit that we have. This is the same unit that my grandmother used for a great many years and I love it.
One of the discussions that the girls and I had was whether the fruit was first or second grade fruit and if it was second grade fruit was it ok to use? Personally I don’t care if it is seconds and by the end of the discussion we had all agreed that as a society we seem to be far too focused on perfection and that blemishes (on fruit, people or anything else) is not seen as acceptable. (I love having discussions like that with my kids – I feel that some old fashioned values are being adsorbed as we talk and debate and discuss topics). Seconds fruit tastes just the same as first grade fruit it may just be slightly odd shaped, have a mark or two on it or be too big or too small for the supermarkets but there is nothing wrong with it and whats more we love it not just because it tastes good but also because it isn’t perfect!!! In the course of our work Ashley and I have seen fruit by the tonne thrown away as it is seconds fruit and the supermarkets won’t take it. The growers can’t sell it so it’s wasted. It’s such a shame when you see so many going hungry and shortages all round but no one wants to pick it up and the growers are barely making ends meet at times so shipping it for them isn’t an option either.
I guess it’s one of the dilemmas of the society we live it. There is food there but not the resourses to deal with it and with supermarkets expecting perfection and “their” sizes of fruit and only wanting to pay limited amounts of money so much is wasted. Perhaps the answer is plant a fruit tree and/or a vegetable garden. Support your local grower or farmers market if you don’t have the room or time. Many of the fruit growers will sell and often give away seconds fruit if they are asked. Be self sufficent. Resuse, recyle and make do. Become independant of the supermarkets and their vast buying power – make your own decisions on when and where you will spend your money.
I’m hopping down off my soap box now….vbg…but I feel this may be a topic that will be mentioned more on my blog. When it happens you will see it here.