Bottling It Up

In times of emergency, emergency measures must be used, and in wartime it is very important to lay in stores in the autumn when fruits are more plentiful, to help us through the winter when there are no fresh fruits available. Preserved fruits and vegetables are not so good as fresh ones, but they are a great deal better than none at all and provide interest and variety in the winter menu, as well as mineral salts.

 Parsley Honey

5ozs parsley
1lb sugar
1½ pints water
½ teaspoon vinegar

Wash parsley, dry and chop up roughly. Put in a pan with 1½ pints of water, and boil until it reduces to one pint. Strain and add 1 lb. sugar and boil until it is syrupy (like honey) for about 20 minutes. Then add ½ teaspoon of vinegar. This “jells” by the next day, and tastes remarkably like honey.  😉

Rhubarb Jam Without Sugar

To every pound of fruit allow ½lb of dates. Wash the rhubarb, chop it, and put it in the preserving pan and heat slowly, stirring well to draw out the juice. Wash and stone the dates. Add to the fruit and simmer very gently for 45 minutes. Put immediately into clean, hot, dry jars, and tie on parchment covers at once.
This recipe is equally good with any other fresh fruit.

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In a Jam?

Jam seems to have gone out of fashion. What ever happened to the jam sandwich? During the war children were encouraged to forage for food in the hedgerows to make jams and jellies. Here are three wartime recipes for you to try.

Rose Hip Jam

Ingredients:
5½lb fresh rose hips
Sugar
3½ pints water
Method:
Wash the fresh hips in lukewarm water, top and tail them and boil in a stainless steel or un-chipped enamel pan (not aluminium) for 15 minutes. Rub through a sieve and to each pound of pulp allow ½ lb sugar. Bring up to the boil again and cook for 10 minutes. Put up in stone jars for preference and when cool cover the tops of the jars with castor sugar. Then cover in the usual way. If glass jars are used, keep in the dark. The vitamin content is kept for between three and four months.

Crab Apple Marmalade

Ingredients:
Crab Apples
Sugar
Orange peel

Method:
Wash the crab apples and cut them in quarters, removing any damaged parts, but leaving on the skin and cores. Put into a large enamel pan, cover with cold water and boil gently until reduced to a pulp. Strain pulp through a muslin bag. Meanwhile, thinly slice the peel from three or four sweet oranges. Simmer this gently in enough water barely to cover it, for about ½ hour. Add this to the strained juice from the crab apples. The proportions should be, roughly, two pints crab apple juice to one pint orange peel and water. Bring the crab apple juice and orange peel water to the boil and to three pints of the mixture add 3 lbs sugar, and boil gently until it sets when tested on a plate (about 20 minutes). Put into warmed jars and cover as soon as it is cold. If no orange peel is available the crab apple jelly is delicious by itself.

Hawthorn Jelly

Ingredients:
Berries from the hawthorn tree
Sugar
Water

Method:
Pick enough of the ripe red berries to fill a large pan, about 3-4 lbs. wash thoroughly and remove leaves and twigs, but it does not matter about the little stalks. Allow ½ pint water to each pound of berries, and put on the saucepan lid. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until quite soft, mashing with a wooden spoon to break up all the fruit. Strain through a jelly bag. Measure the juice, and to each pint allow 1 lb sugar. Bring to the boil again, add the sugar and boil until a little sets when tested on a plate about 20-30 minutes. Stirring with a wooden spoon. It is not a very firm jelly.

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