We don't seem to have much time on our hands these days but when we do we like to indulge in our hobby of jam, preserve and spread making. It is such a great way to capture and preserve a flavour and really the only limit to what you can jar is your imagination.
We make product for retail, but often produce conserves if we see some appropriate fruit at the market. At least twice a week we get to one of our local markets early to see what is available, this morning we managed to pick up some beautiful, plump Tasmanian cherries which we are going to preserve in an acidulated vanilla syrup.
If you are living in the Southern Hemisphere as we are, now really is the time to start looking for fruits, flavours and aromas to bottle or jar for the coming Autumn months. We saw some excellent quality Victorian strawberries this morning which were very inexpensive and would be ideal to jam or puree (and frozen) for when these fruits are unavailable.
Just follow a few basic sterilisation rules and these will all be perfect for consumption for a long time, long enough even to give as Christmas presents which is exactly what we did this year. If you are interested in preserving then there are a number of great books on the subject which will help you with sterilisation and some of the trickier details such as ph levels of fruits, brix and instruments you may need to invest in. We would love to know of your successes so please let us know how you get on.
Check out wikipedia's explanation of Brix http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brix