Sunday, 27 December 2009

Christmas Day and onwards

Christmas day was a family affair.  It was a quiet day, spent eating the usual fare (for here)...  cold meats and salads, though the day was quite mild... about 25C and sunshiny.  I had phone calls from all of my children, though one had to leave a message as I didn't hear the soft ring while sitting around among the chaos and a couple were "skype" jobs...  all good.

Boxing day was spent processing fruit.  I thought about this during the day,  it's interesting that  the Christmas cooking is all confused with the fruit and summer preserving season here.  When I lived in the northern hemisphere these were two completely separated busy patches of the year... having these co-incedent episodes here makes for  a chaotic patch about now!

And so, yesterday was spent with apricots and nectarines.  I weighed the greenest of the apricots in two pound batches... twelve pounds altogether.  The row of apricot seeds along the bench keeps trac of how many pounds I've dropped into the pan.  The ripest pieces of fruit went into the jars for preserving whole as they don't set was well as jam.

I covered the apricots with sugar (about 8lbs) and left this to sit for about eight hours to extract juice from the apricots...

... then I boiled it well for about an hour and bottled it all... about 20 jars of all shapes and sizes.

The riper fruit is preserved in syrup.  Here are two jars of nectarines (left) and apricots (whole) on the right.  The cupboard is filling up.

Christmas day and Boxing day are both gone.  It is Sunday morning and time to prepare for a hot week in the garden.  It is going to be near 40C again by the end of the week.... and I'm not sure whether I'll have one of my children here by then.  Apparently he is not doing well in the city...

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