Preparing for the New Year

It was wonderful to read about everyones Christmas and it certainly sounds like everyone has had a wonderful time surrounded by family and friends which is as it should be.

Ours was very quiet and peaceful with way to much food and the nicest of presents. We were all spoilt but also received what we all wanted/needed which was a bonus.  Enthusasium is still running high for our Handmade Christmas but more details on that in another post.

As today is the last day of 2010 (who would have known that this year would pass so quickly) I thought I should post photos of my jam making and some new gadgets I have.

I love jam and chutney making.  Seriously I love it. It doesn’t matter that it’s 40 degrees outside and a hot wind blowing – the air conditoner is on and I have fruit (apricots today) begging me to turn them into jam.  So what could I do but make jam.  Yes on New Years Eve – I make jam!!!  Can you think of a better way to prepare for a new year than by using the harvest of the old?

Two gadgets that I bought recently and am loving when it comes to preserving are these…..

Lid Lifter

A lid Lifter. It has a magnet on the end of it which safely lifts lids out of boiling water so you can put them on your jar.  It is so much better than the pair of kitchen tongs I used to use and I haven’t splashed myself once.

Jar Lifter

I also bought a jar lifter.  I had one that was with the preserving kit that was Grandma’s but I hated using it. It always felt flimsy and I was terrified of dropping the big heavy fruit filled jars as I pulled them out of the preserving pan.  This is so much better, safer and much more sturdy than the old one. Plus it’s ideal for getting hot jars out of the oven without burning yourself.

Now where did I get these handy little tools??  No affils but honestly David and Valarie at Green Living Australia are the nicest people.  The service was the best I have ever received with friendly emails letting me know when my order was shipped and best of all they are right here in Australia.  They also stock lids  so you can resuse your jars and have a handy list of what lids fit whICH commercial jars.  Throw in cheese and yogurt making supplies and a bookshop and everyones tastes should be catered for.   SIZE

Fruit Salad bottled in the Microwave

I am very proud of myself as I have also had a go at preserving Fruit Salad in the Microwave. I borrowed Isabel Webb’s book “Microwave Bottling Fruit, James, Jellies, Pickles and Sauces” from the library and it’s brilliant. I can’t find a link to it on the net but it is an older book.  Isabel Webb has a new book out Five Minute Microwave Bottling which is an updated version of the book I used (and one which I also borrowed) .  It is an expanded version of the original book and has some fantastic recipies in it.  If you are interested do hunt around as I have seen it for varying prices on the net and I’m pretty sure you may even pick it up in some bookshops or larger department stores.  It is an Australian book so those overseas will have to convert quantities etc.

Ok well that’s enough for me for the year.  Here’s to the New Year – may it bring challenges, surprises and fulfillment to all of us.

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5 thoughts on “Preparing for the New Year

  1. You have almost tempted me to go to my gadgets drawer, the one always under the cutlery in most home and find and photograph the old tools we used. I know a lot of them have blue handles.
    The cherry pipper was a later invention. We used to leave the pips in. My fruit is still safely green so am not tempted to tackle fruit in these conditions. In my childhood it was almost ok as you got to share the fan. The microwave book sounds fun…..I used to freeze nectarines and peaches. Citric acid I think was the trick. Have a lovely day and rejoice in all your efforts.

  2. If I come and visit can I have some apricot jam???? Yum!!! I have bookmarked that site, not something we do at the moment but something we could use in the future. Even in the heat (and no air conditioner) we have managed to get a few things done today!!! Sure I’ll be in bed normal time and won’t be seeing the new year in!

  3. Looks wonderful Catherine, you’ve been busy and your family will appreciate all this goodness when it’s cold outside and no more fresh fruit from the trees.

  4. Pingback: Two Red Things « Calidore

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