Friday, 6 January 2017

Nanna didn't do bottling...just bottles

Ahh...preserving.  Just like nanna used to do.  Well not my nanna actually, she was more the Stout drinking, Camel cigarette smoking kind of nanna but that's not the point.  Regardless of your nanna's preferences, finding ways of using the abundance of summer produce here in Tassie is a well regarded tradition.  Even the man at the roadside stall standing at the back of his ute selling kilo bags of locally grown apricots knew we'd want the small ones for preserving.  Not usually the kind of culinary knowledge you would expect from someone sporting a well worn blue singlet and some highly descriptive tattoos.  Wars have been won and lost here over lesser fruits.  Having recently attended a preserving class, I came away only slightly the wiser on the mysteries of stuffing fruit in a bottle and stuffing the bottles in a bigger contraption to boil the buggery out of them to call them preserved.   I found myself somewhat out of my depth as the other class participants swapped stories about preserving from home grown fruit I'd never even heard of, and probably extinct by now anyway.  The only fruit trees I recall growing up with were nectarine trees.  Unfortunately they were blamed for producing the first huntsman spider of the summer and as a result were immediately chopped down.  Just to be safe.  So last night we commenced our very first attempt at preserving, and when I say we, I don't mean me.  You see not coming from the right nanna family, I merely observed the operations from my nearby apprentice stool with my fellow, observe-only colleagues, Minnie and Bennie.  We watched on and listened to the official preserving music from the Rolling Stones (well they are preserved in a way, and there are stones...). As for the jars, I assume you leave them on the shelf until the trees, and cupboards are bare; and in your last gasps of starvation in the midst of a deathly winter, there will always be apricots.  But just no Stout.

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