Cup­board love by June McInnes

The McLeod River Post - - POINTS OF VIEWC - June McInnes

All too soon the leaves are fall­ing from the trees and my pot­ted deck plants are dy­ing off one by one. The flow­ers are frosted, my let­tuce has wilted, sum­mer’s over. That’s ok, I had the best of them just be­fore the snow hit last week, my­self and one of our sons, Si­mon picked as much of the good­ies we could be­cause we’d been told there was snow in the fore­cast. We ended up with toma­toes, and some green beans, chives, mint, basil and a few po­ta­toes, from the pots by the front door, not bad, for just recre­ational gar­den­ing.

I set to work as soon as I could to process what we had and turn it into win­ter sup­plies, I ended up with a small batch of green toma­toes chut­ney, very happy with that. The beans we ate with our Sun­day din­ner and I dried the herbs and put into jars for later use. The po­ta­toes were good with but­ter and pars­ley on an­other night with some pan-fried fish.

As I said be­fore in a pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cle I’ve been given a huge con­tainer of ap­ples from our daugh­ter and son-in-law and I never have I been hap­pier, it was so won­der­ful, I’m al­most at the end of them now and I’ve made jams and chut­ney’s (pickle) I’m look­ing for­ward to shar­ing it all with mem­bers of the fam­ily and en­joy­ing the chut­ney on some cheese and crack­ers to liven it up.

The boys will sin­gle hand­edly and man­fully eat their way through the jam, but that’s ok, that’s what it’s for, as they never waste any, I’m happy they en­joy it.

The next thing I’m mak­ing will be ap­ple and orange chut­ney and that will go well with cur­ries as well as cheeses or cold meats over Christ­mas. The mus­tard pickle or as I call it pic­calilli is done and so are the pick­led eggs, I’m get­ting there, fi­nally.

Last year was a bust for me can­ning things, we’d just moved, our be­long­ings were miles away and I had no jars at all, so it was hope­less and if left me feel­ing sad that I couldn’t do any for the fam­ily. Not this year.

Next week will be time for me to make some lemon curd, that’s used in a lemon meringue pie or on cakes as a fill­ing or dough­nuts fill­ing or even on hot but­tered toast, I know I loved it when my mum used to make it, my dad would slather it on a big doorstep of toast and devour it with a hot drink, it was tasty and very good.

I ab­so­lutely love to put away things for the win­ter it gives me a sense of ac­com­plish­ment and I feel like it mat­ters, like a lot of peo­ple to­day I don’t trust the big fac­to­ries and what they put in foods, whether it’s le­gal or not, so if I made it, I know what’s in it and if it was done prop­erly, I’m a bit of a fuss pants when it comes to do­ing it right so it will be.

It’s lovely to go to the cup­board and choose what you want, jams and jel­lies are like bot­tled sun­shine, all that sweet good­ness, just wait­ing to be spread in a thick slice of home­made bread, toasted or oth­er­wise and there’s al­ways scones or crum­pets to en­joy them on or the tra­di­tional cup of tea and jam sand­wich, mm­mmm lovely, child­hood re­vis­ited.

I don’t make huge batches, just small penny num­bers but that’s good it means I can add va­ri­ety be­cause the batches are so small. They all look good on the shelf and I feel I earnt my keep so to speak. My hubby al­ways rolls his eyes when I say that and goes on about how I al­ways earn my keep and that I shouldn’t say that, but it’s how I feel in­side. It gives me im­mense joy to cre­ate things whether it be a hot chilli sauce, jam, or a knit­ted or cro­chet or sewn gar­ment, all of it has the same in­gre­di­ent run­ning through it, they are all “made with love”.

This had al­ways been my se­cret in­gre­di­ent for what­ever I make,” There’s no job done so easy as with a good heart “my gran used to say, and you know what’ she was so right.

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