Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Preserves and More Preserves!

I have spent the last 3 days making and bottling more jam, jelly, conserves, salsa, compote, and brandied fruits than I ever thought I would! I figured that if I had to box up jars they may as well be full ones! I have made two batches of salsa, and 40+ jars of other types of beautiful preserves. It has been a mad frenzie of chop, mix, steam and boil! I suppose that the uncertainty of what is going to be happening in my life and home in the next month or so has driven me a bit mad and so I have decided to take control where I can - the kitchen!

I have made so many different types of preserves that I have stopped counting. My favorite has been the Rum Apricots. They are beautiful as well as delicious. Then of course is the Apple Pie in a Jar, and Carrot Cake Jam. I never knew you could make such pretty little jars of Heaven. Pears, apples, raisins, apricots, blueberries, tomatoes, etc. Even a beautiful apple-curry chutney was bottled last week by yours truely.

I think my facination with preserves came while we lived in France 12 years ago. Weekly we went to the "SUPER" as the big excursion of the week. We found the beautiful jars of "Bonne Maman" in all the delicious flavors a sweet and delicious way to experience a country we didn't have the finances to really see as tourists. My Favorite was the Wild Blueberry or the Four Fruits! At $6 a jar at speciality stores here in SLC I don't think I will be able to put them in my pantry. But back then they were the treat on fresh, hot, bagettes that made us feel like we were living the high life, while scrimping and collecting our "centimes" (french pennies) to be able to keep the lights on. It was a way of splurging while being responsible.

I suppose that is what I have been doing this past week as I have been making and storing bottles of beautiful fruit and vegetables in pretty little jars, preparing for the sweet, responsible times that are sure to be required of us again now and in the future, where the surroundings are sparce, and the entertainment is simple, but the food is good and we are prepared, "come what may and love it!"

The "Bonne Maman" (good mother) in me requires it!