What to bottle first?

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What to bottle first?

Postby OldGreyBeard » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:59 pm

I have acquired a large number of Kilner jars of almost every variant along with a large metal stock pot to use as a water bath and I'm keen to learn how to bottle food. The thing is what is the easiest thing to bottle?

I am thinking of trying apples since I like them and possibly raspberries in the Summer. I could freeze them but I don't have a big freezer and I quite like the idea of energy free storage.
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Re: What to bottle first?

Postby diggernotdreamer » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:51 pm

I bottle all my surplus tomatoes as passata. You can bottle plums, pears, apples, you can bottle juices. The main thing with bottling is to make sure that all your jars are first washed very clean, replace the rubber seals each time they are used, when the jars are washed clean, scald them in hot water to make sure they are free of bacteria, I put mine into the oven at 100 c upside down on the rack to keep them warm and sterile until I am ready to fill them. When bottling anything, it is important that you put some kind of acid into the mixture to stop the growth of botulism. In savoury you can put in vinegar, balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, and fruits you could put in lemon juice or citric acid in powder from you can get from brew shops or the chemist, it is a small risk but well worth taking the trouble to avoid it, although cooking afterwards will destroy botulism, unless you want to eat your fruit cold. I have been bottling for 25 years and I'm not dead yet. I much prefer this method of preservation to freezing, so convenient. Everything will need preparation so I couldn't say what is the easiest thing, plums need stoning,apples and pears core and slice make a solution of 1 lb sugar to 1 pint water bring to the boil and put the fruit in for a couple of minutes just to soften them up (you don't have to but I found this helps to pack the fruit into the jars and stops the problem of fruit floating as it shrinks), pack the hot jars with the fruits, tamp down and fill to the top with the hot syrup. Seal and then put into a hot bath of boiling water for between 10 and 20 minutes, take them out, put them on their sides until cool.
(helps to make a good vacuum). Other fruit variations, apple and rasberry, blackberry or elderberry is very nice
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Re: What to bottle first?

Postby OldGreyBeard » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:01 am

Are you the person who mentioned The Radiation Cookbook? I think I've found the same one at my mother's hosue which I am clearing now she has moved to a care home. That's where the Kilner jars came from. I remembered them from the early 1960s and was astonished to find them in a variety of locations around the house.

I did find a Margueritte Patten book on preserving from 1963 and a Good Hoyusekeeping one from 1981. A big shift towards freezing and not canning/bottling.

BTW I am looking for a modern book on preserving. Is this Dummies book any good? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Storing-Preserving-Garden-Produce-Dummies/dp/1119951569/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1359835451&sr=8-4
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Re: What to bottle first?

Postby diggernotdreamer » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:18 pm

I am that person with the radiation cook book. I had a look at that link, without looking though the book, can't tell, I like to go into shops for that type of book and have a look and see if it has what I am looking for, Pam Corbin who writes the River Cottage Preserving Books as quite good, but is is always worth having a few different books on the subject anyway, even the local library might have some you can browse through.
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Re: What to bottle first?

Postby OldGreyBeard » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:06 pm

Following a modest win on the premium bonds I decided to treat myself to the Dummies book. It'll make good reading when planning the allotment as I can include ability to store stuff in selecting what to plant this year.

perhaps it'll have some ideas about what to do with all those courgettes.....
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