Another thing to do in your home kitchen, that you may not do ordinarily, is to preserve.
You can spend a little time, and save money, preserving food for later use. You can make marmalade, pickles and many other delicious things.
Preserving fruits, berries and vegetables is a real nice way of saving the summer's plenitude for later.
You can though preserve all year long. There will almost always be something in season, or if not, then you can use frozen things. One example is that you can make a delicious strawberry marmalade, even in winter. Other things are orange marmalade, and pickled cucumbers.
Preserving the food while in season will taste better and be much cheaper.
You can buy sugar that contains the preservative, and also pectin for thickening. That makes it even easier. We use it in the recipe for strawberry marmalade.
To sterilize the glasses, put them in the oven, at 150°C for 15 minutes. Be aware that if your lids are made of plastic, you should remove them first, and sterilize them in boiling water instead.
The first recipe is a simple, but very good strawberry marmalade. If you have ever been afraid of trying to make marmalade, then you can see here that it is really simple. Keep things clean and follow the recipe. You can also try using vinegar for preserving, in the next example, you will see that making cucumber is also a breeze. And finally, try to make your own ketchup, a hit for sure.
The marmalade you can use with your homemade yogurt or ice cream, that you find elsewhere in this book.
To get you started in preserving, here are a couple of recipes, that you can try.
Bell pepper and onions are my two favorites for preserving in oil.
Prepare the onions by removing the skin and cut them halfway in length. Then cut each half into halves again, depending you wish and the size of the onion. But a good idea is to have some chonky pieces. Then peel the layers apart, and grill them.
The same goes for the peppers. Wash them, cut them, remove the rippes and seeds and cut the pepper into good sized pieces. Grill them, with oil. Now both are ready. Use a big glass with a screw-on lid, and fill it with your grilled veggies. Then heat the oil to 80°C, and pour it over the vegetables in the glass. Put on the lid and your grilled vegetables now just need to be left for a while before you start using them.
You can spice the oil you use in this way of preserving. You can add rosemary, basil, garlic, bay leaf and what you like.
1 Kg strawberries
½ Kg Sugar for preserving, or ½ Kg ordinary sugar with 2 teaspoons pectin.
Slice the strawberries and boil them with the sugar for 15 minutes. If you use ordinary sugar, add the pectin when nearly finished, and continue to boil for the last 2 minutes.
Pour the finished marmalade into sterilized jars. (See above).
Pickled cucumbers salad:
One cucumber, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 deciliter sugar
½ deciliter vinegar
A pinch of black pepper, grounded
Sprinkle the cucumber with salt and leave for half an hour. After half an hour, squeeze out the excess water, using your hands. Mix sugar, vinegar and pepper in a bowl, (not metal), add the cucumber and leave in the refrigerator covered. Can be eaten after ½ hour, and can be kept for several days.
650 gram tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
60 gram sugar
⅔ deciliter red wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic
½ teaspoon salt
A pinch of chili, grounded
Put all the ingredients in a big cooking pot. Bring it to boil and turn it down to simmer. Let it simmer for 45minutes without the lid, until the mixture is thickened. Stir frequently.
Sieve the tomato and pour the ketchup into sterilized bottles or jars. Sterilize once again after you have poured the ketchup into bottles. You do that by placing the bottles in a saucepan with plenty of water. Bring it to a small simmering and let them be for 30 minutes. You can keep the ketchup in storage for up to six months. Without the last treatment the tomato ketchup can last several weeks in the refrigerator.