That preserving itch....

Lynda Brown - 14 September 2012

Sitting in one of my favourite places (Sophie's in Minchinhampton), thinking I must get back to blogging, and have just caught the magic word 'damsons' wafting across from the next table. Yes, it's that time of year again - when every walk means scouring the locality for brambles, crab apples, wild damsons, elderberries, and, if you're lucky (or brave enough), mushrooms. At farmers' markets it's time to make a bee line for local pears, apples, runner beans, caulis - anything in fact that will stimulate the primeval urge to preserve. My local country market, which I'm also devoted to, sells allotment veggie - something else to keep a look out for.

I don't need to remind you there are umpteen good reasons to re-discover preserving your own jams, pickles, and anything else that takes your fancy. For me it's the sheer pleasure and pride of having my own pot of jam made the way I want, and not having to pay through the nose for some second rate substitute with an upmarket lable that never tastes as good.

But should you need a bit of a prod, then the Love Food Hate Waste website could be just what you're looking and currently has a few recipes from our own Preserving Book, including how to dry mushrooms - which is just about the simplest and easiest way to keep mushrooms, concentrates their flavour and makes you thankful all winter long. Any good ideas, fave tips, or ideas please post this way to share too?

Lynda is an award-winning food writer and broadcaster, and keen advocate for organic living. She is author of several food books over the last twenty years including Planet Organic: Organic Living, The Cook's Garden, and The Modern Cook's Handbook, as well as writing The Preserving Book that was published in 2010 in association with the Soil Association. Lynda is an expert on food and nutrition and a seasoned broadcaster, regularly speaking on food and farming both on the radio and television.

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