Good Enough to Bottle

From Ngaire’s journal, 8th March 1950
Made fruit pickle this morning and bottled blackberries this evening.

Bottling figs9Up early this morning – it’s too hot to sleep properly and Alex had rowing training – so I went to the market and came home with a small box of figs. I’ve been keeping an eye on my neighbour’s tree, hoping the possums will leave enough for me to suggest a trade of eggs or apples, but they’re a fair way off ripe so I couldn’t resist buying some, despite the price.

Bottling figs2I’ve kept a few for eating fresh and bottled the rest. Later in the year, when summer is a distant memory and the idea of a hot day is attractive again, we’ll have them for pudding, gently warmed and served with thick cream. I’ve got the knack of bottling now and have learnt not to be overly ambitious, just doing a batch in the evening as Ngaire did, rather than dozens of jars in a day.
Having the preserving kit set up in the laundry makes all the difference too. It does add to the degree of laundering difficulty – now I have to separate lights from darks and smalls from syrup — but at least I can close the door on it.

From Ngaire’s journal, 9th March, 1948
“Mrs. Harding came for the day… She says France is in a dreadful state. Folk have food and clothing coupons which cannot be redeemed. Strikes are the order of the day and Paris is dirty and inefficient…Poor old England is having a very hard time with rationing: ½ pt of milk per adult per wk, 1 oz butter, extra allowances for children, invalids and mothers…”

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