"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Thursday 27 January 2011

I couldn't wait

I couldn't wait to start preserving some fruit and vegetables using Lynda Brown's "The Preserving Book".

Thankfully, I managed to get to the shopping centre over the mountain and bought some plums, pears, prunes, pickling onions and cauliflower to which I added homegrown peppers, carrots, zucchini and broccoli.

So, on Tuesday I made a batch of apple pectin, 5 jars of pear conserve, 6 jars of plum and lemon jam and two jars of vegetables in oil.

Solar preserved pears,
plum and lemon jam and vegetables in oil

The apple pectin I have placed in the freezer - so it's on hand when I need it.

The plum and lemon jam took the longest, but it's delicious - we've had some on toast for breakfast already.

The pear conserve I made in the solar cooker using the oven method.

I even sterilized my jars and lids in the solar oven.

Doesn't it make a difference when you have a book which details exactly how to do something that you've not tried doing before.  I'm so excited I'm like a child with a new toy.

I don't know if my preserves are going to last until the drabness of winter to be enjoyed as I can't wait to have some of the vegetables in oil with a couple of slices of solar baked home-made bread and a chunk of cheese.


  1. How exciting! I just started my early seeds today... in the US we're deep in winter. However, I'm in a very mild climate and I just couldn't wait to plant in the greenhouse! I can't wait to follow your example and start canning! I'll be canning some chicken next week, cause I just can't wait for the veggies! Thanks for that little bit of summer you sent this way!

  2. Heidi - and my thanks to all my northern hemisphere bloggers who allow me a glimpse of their lovely cold weather :-)

    Helps to chill me down in the heat.

  3. It the US it is greatly advised NOT to can in oil due to the fact it is hard to get the temperature up high enough to kill bacteria and it can grow in the jar without you knowing it. That said I have tried it before, but did not have the best results. I lost 1/2 of what I canned in oil to the seals coming loose after time. I have not tried it again because it makes you want to cry when you work so hard to can the food and it goes bad before you eat it. Good luck with all your canning. Your stuff does look good.

  4. very good, I'm glad you are enjoying the book...and just look at the fabilous results. Can you tell just a bit more about the vegetables in oil?

  5. Jane & Mr H - I am really worried about infringing copyright laws. All I can tell you is that the vegetables are heated in an acid medium, before being packed into sterilized jars with the seasonings, and filled / topped with oil.

    The vegetables in oil are then kept in the fridge.

    It is a brilliant book.. :-)

  6. Looks delicious and soooo beautiful! How exciting to use your solar oven for canning!
    Yes...I'm jeaous :D

  7. Ezrablu - your time will come LOL


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