Keep­ing pesty moths in check

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - LYNDA HALLINAN

the au­tumn pre­server’s or­chard. Bot­tle and stew fruit for win­ter, make jams and jel­lies, or try your hand at posh pastes and fruit cheeses for an­tipasto plat­ters. • The ba­sic jelly mak­ing method is the same for all of these fruits. Roughly chop un­peeled fruit into a large pot and add just enough water to cover, then bring it to a gen­tle sim­mer (lid on, if pos­si­ble) and cook un­til the fruit is ten­der. Then tip the pulp into a jelly bag, large sieve or colan­der lined with muslin, or a cheap cot­ton pil­low­case and strain over a bowl. (Catch the drips, as it’s the liq­uid you want, not the pulp.) Then sim­ply mea­sure the amount of liq­uid you have, and match with an equal quan­tity of sugar (or jam-set­ting sugar if us­ing a low­pectin fruit). Boil briskly un­til a lit­tle jelly drib­bled onto a cold plate (from the fridge) gets a wrin­kled skin. • Fei­joas are won­der­ful bot­tled, and it’s not dif­fi­cult. Cut firm fruit in half and scoop out the flesh with a tea­spoon. (Re­serve the skins to make fei­joa jelly). Place the scooped fruit into a large bowl of water with the juice of 1 lemon (this stops the fruit turn­ing brown as you work). In a large pot, dis­solve 1 cup sugar to 3 cups water. When sim­mer­ing, gen­tly lower the fei­joas into the syrup and sim­mer for 5-10 min­utes. Then, us­ing a slot­ted spoon, pack the stewed fei­joas into hot glass jars, top up with the stew­ing syrup, and screw on lids to seal. Turn the jars up­side down (the ex­tra heat im­proves the strength of the seal) un­til cool. Pears are also easy to pre­serve this way, as the fruit is firm and holds its shape. • A tip for mak­ing quince paste. In­stead of boil­ing chopped quinces, cook them whole in your slow cooker un­til their flesh is ten­der and rose-pink, then squish off the skins and slide out the cores. It’s the eas­i­est way to get a smooth pulp.

Com­bine this pulp with the same amount of sugar and cook slowly, stir­ring con­stantly, in a large heavy fry­ing pan, for 30 min­utes (or more), un­til thick and dark. rain fell. Re­sult? A fair pro­por­tion have either re­sprouted, soft­ened or started to rot. Drats! It’s im­por­tant onions and shal­lots aren’t al­lowed to get damp (even from dew) after har­vest, so take them in­doors, into a warm, well ven­ti­lated room or shed or lay them out un­der a cov­ered ve­ran­dah. Once fully dry (rub the stalks; they should be brit­tle and pa­pery), you can store your al­li­ums in pa­per bags, hes­sian sacks or re­cy­cled onion bags. They should last all win­ter. This col­umn is adapted from the weekly e-zine, get grow­ing, from New Zealand Gar­dener mag­a­zine. For gar­den­ing ad­vice de­liv­ered to your in­box ev­ery Fri­day, sign up for Get Grow­ing at: get­grow­ing.co.nz

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