Introduction

Introduction

By
Mandy Sinclair, Meredith Kirton
Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742709192
Photographer
Jeremy Simons

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction you get from growing and preserving your own produce.

These practices have waned over the years, however it is with much joy that both are returning in earnest as we rediscover the health benefits and economic value of consuming home-grown food, and we begin to understand that supermarket convenience isn’t the be-all and end-all.

With Meredith a gardener and Mandy a passionate foodie, neither of us can bear waste, and we appreciate more than most the toil that goes into producing. It seems so ungrateful not to make use of everything. Even scraps become compost and in turn, rich food for another crop. So it makes perfect sense to preserve one’s harvest.

When thinking of preserving, most people’s minds go directly to bottles of beautiful fruit, delicious jams and pungent chutneys, but preserving can be much more than this. Within this book you will also find pestos, flavoured butters, fruit curds and simple sorbets. Detailed gardening information gives you tips for getting your produce growing well, plus plenty of ideas for things to do with your crop – from the basics of freezing and drying, to sun-drying summer fruit, candying citrus peel, drying tomato skins to make a paprika-like powder, and even smoking chillies and garlic.

During the journey of writing this book, it was wonderful to discover that preserving isn’t just about the long-term benefits – it’s also about the flavour of the end product and the joy the whole process evokes. The smell of cooking with spices like cloves, cinnamon and star anise or just the simple fragrance of citrus simmering is always a delight. Seeing light shining through your intensely coloured bottles of preserves like stained glass, and having a shelf stocked with homemade goodies, can’t help but create a sense of happiness. It feels so comforting to know there is something for a rainy day, a quiet indulgence or a gift for a loved friend.

The process of trying to use everything and waste little has led to many a taste sensation. Green oranges, for example, removed from a tree that needed pruning, proved to make the most incredible zesty syrup. In the same vein our grandparents often preserved green peaches before any spoiling from fruit fly could occur, and these too had a wonderful tartness that was unique and delicious.

We hope that this book will inspire you to turn a garden glut into a bounty worth sharing, hoarding and treasuring.

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