Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Yes I like spring, but when do you know it's here and winter's gone? It's hard to tell sometimes, and when you think the season has changed it flips back.

Some of the signs of spring are that the weather is very changeable, this weekend was an fine example of that -  lovely Saturday, crap Sunday! Blossoms are starting to appear. Lambs are being born. The pollen is here, my sinuses are in overdrive. The beach was covered in yellow, I've never seen that phenomenon before.

 And just to confuse you we preserved some Granny Smith apples we were given a week ago. They are great keepers, they were probably picked 5 months ago - but I think they're close to the end by the smell that was coming out of the box! My mum was a "preserver-extraordinaire!" She would bottle enough fruit so that we could open a jar a day! I cannot compete, it's quite disheartening when one large pot only produced 4 jars. We have not finished the box, we need to keep on with the preserving*.

*preserving = bottling, canning of fruit in jars for future use.

The jars we use in NZ are called Agee jars, and the metal lids on the top are called Perfit Seals, and the metal ring is a band. The way I make stewed apple is the way my mum did it. Fruit is peeled and sliced, thankfully we have a nifty gadget to help do this. The fruit is stewed by slowly boiling, with just enough water to stop them sticking, and no sugar is added. Jars are washed in hot soapy water, then placed in an oven at 100 degrees C. Seals are put in a small pot and boiling water poured over them. When the fruit is soft and mushy fill a hot jar almost to the top, then using tongs take a seal and place on the jar making sure there is no fruit around the rim, then tightly screw on a band. The next day check that the seals have worked, they should be slightly sunken, if not the fruit will need to be kept in fridge and eaten quickly. Remove the bands and put jars in cupboard to have stewed apple whenever required. Around here we use it for apple crumbles and apple sauce when we have roast pork.

I'd be interested to know how others preserve apples in other parts of the world.

After that long and rambling post I'm linking up with Cathy at {tinniegirl}


  1. Hello Sally dear
    Haven't posted much recently on your blog but I've been lurking!!! If you got that feeling someone was leaning over your shoulder it was me LOL!
    Been having a few ups and downs and seems we have something in common 'cos I had a crap Sunday too. Grrr!
    Mother used to do loads of preserves as I recall when I was little and Dad used to love pickling stuff...onions,eggs ,gerkins (yuk!) and walnuts. In fact he used to give them out as gifts down the British Legion at Christmas and his mates loved them. I used to go with him and carry one of the baskets so I used to get a free drink of POP and a bag of crisps he ! he!

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

  2. Lovely to see the first signs of spring with you. That yellow substance on the beach looks very strange! The apples here will just be starting to ripen in the next few weeks! I usually try and store as many as I can rather than preserve them. Last year we were still eating apples from our tree in February but the harvest doesn't look very good this year. I will make some chutney with some apples or otherwise I tend to freeze slices to have in pies.
    Sarah x

  3. Great photos
    looks like an interesting week