Hello from Leisa

Please introduce yourself and let us welcome you.
leisal
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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Hello from Leisa

Postby leisal » Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:57 pm

Hello, my name is Leisa. We have four sons and last year I made the decision to drastically reduce the amount we pay for groceries and to reduce the amount of processed foods we eat before the boys get too big. We bought an upright freezer, I buy my meat in bulk and cook most of the weekend to fill it with homemade goodness. I began preserving by making Green Tomato Relish. I made my first visit to the markets over the Easter holidays and made my first batch of cumquat marmalade. I am using a Ball home preserving starter kit I got from the Redback trading company and I have added Jams and Chutneys, Preserving the Harvest, by Thane Prince to my library of cook books. I am very interested in preserving. In fact I made a phone call this morning to the local CWA branch looking for a jam making mentor...then I found this site. I am having a little trouble recognising the set point of the jam I made, eventually I just bottled the cumquat marmalade and it did set. Thanks for setting up this site. I look forward to searching through it.
Regards
Leisa
Brisbane
http://aussieopianfamily.typepad.com/recipeswap

rdtj04
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:58 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Re: Hello from Leisa

Postby rdtj04 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:36 pm

Hi Leisa,

Welcome to the forum. This little group of people is wonderful and there is alot of knowledge here. Lots of brains to pick. Just ask.

:D
Cheers

minnie
Posts: 2700
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Alice, West of Casino, NSW
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Re: Hello from Leisa

Postby minnie » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:01 pm

Hi Leisa,

Welcome, you're already doing quite a bit... good on you!

More and more people are really looking at their food these days I believe, which can only be a far better thing for our future health and that of the children of the future.

It's quite worrying to see the amount of processed food many families eat these days, and the worst thing there's not much flavour. Our homemade produce and products are so much more flavourful than the highly processed supermarket product.

I'm sure someone will be able to help you with jam, there's some jam makers here (not me though ;) )

Look forward to getting to know you.
:D
Vicki
PS I like redbacktrading as well. :D

leisal
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Contact:

Re: Hello from Leisa

Postby leisal » Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:15 pm

Damaris and Vicki
Thankyou for your kind welcome. I had a look at your blog Damaris, love the photo of your son and all the dogs. We have one very naughty little white fluff ball named Hero.
It is great to "meet" people so close to where I live, this forum/blogging world can be so big somethimes. I look forward to reading more.
Regards
Leisa
http://aussieopianfamily.typepad.com/recipeswap/

Mojojo
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Perth and Donnybrook, WA

Re: Hello from Leisa

Postby Mojojo » Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:00 pm

Hi Leisa and welcome,

Four growing boys - I can imagine it would be doubly worth trying to reduce food costs!

I am not a champion jam maker by any means, I've pretty much only made them when I was living in the UK and I could pick blackberries by the bagfull in the hedgerows near my work. I worried about them not setting, so I always added some green apples for the extra pectin content, and a little lemon rind, and they set very well. Its the pectin that makes it set, and citrus and apples are naturally high in it, while most of the 'soft fruits' are not. Citurs marmalades whould be fine on their own. Then I did the cold plate test - put a small plate in the freezer, then when the jam is cooking, drop a spoonful onto the plate, let it cool, and push it with your finger - if it has formed a skin that wrinkles, it will set just fine.

I've been looking at getting that "Preserving the Harvest" book, but have found I will need to order it as no one stocks it. Do you find it to be good?

~Jo
~ Jo
_________________
Two roads diverged in a wood and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost

leisal
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Contact:

Re: Hello from Leisa

Postby leisal » Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:32 pm

Hi Jo
I don't know how qualified I am to recommend a preserving book but I have found it very easy to follow, the instructions are clear and there are pictures to show the different stages of the jam making process. It also seems quite comprehensive with a wide range of recipes.
Thanks for your tips re checking the set. I did put a plate in the fridge but perhaps the freezer would be best to make sure it is really cold. My cumquat marmalade is set but I did notice yesterday that there is a little syrup moving around the bottle. Does this mean it is not set properly?
Also another question how do I know what requires a water bath after bottling, is it variable or should I do it for everything?

minnie
Posts: 2700
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Alice, West of Casino, NSW
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Re: Hello from Leisa

Postby minnie » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:04 pm

Hi Leisa,

As far as the waterbath goes there's many an answer.

Some say 'everything' should be at minimum waterbathed, but I know I don't waterbath my tomato sauce, pickled zucchini or chutney. My reasoning is the recipe I follow doesn't use it and the vinegar content is high so I don't. But I do with pasta sauce, tomatoes and other fruits.

And not ever having made jam, have no idea about the jam, so I look forward to others answers. :)
:D
Vicki

Hayhay
Posts: 389
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:29 pm

Re: Hello from Leisa

Postby Hayhay » Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:12 pm

Hi Leisa!
We've got 2 growing boys and are also trying to downscope and make food simpler and better. Out goes all pre-packaged stuff from the supermarket (well, most, can't give up the vegemite!) and now going regularly to farmers market and growing our own.

My jams always end up being more syrups. In fact I labelled the last lot of plum jam as 'plum syrup'. Great on yoghurt! Bit runny on toast though.....

Hayley

Shadowgirlau
Posts: 2281
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: Hello from Leisa

Postby Shadowgirlau » Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:03 am

Hi Leisa,

I see you are considering the book [Preserving the harvest] I have this book and ordered it in through Albert and Robertsons 'Bookstore I think it was, have had it for quite awhile now so not 100% sure which store though seem to think it was that one. The day I ordered this book in the woman on the counter asked me if I liked to preserve, when I told her I did she told me she had some books at home which she no longer used so would bring them in when my order arrived. I was fortunate to be given hard cover books (4) all on making jams and preserves.I love collecting cookbooks :)

I have to confess I don't usually waterbath my jams, and I don't do so because I don't like overcooked or processes jams and over the years I have found that when ever I did process these in a BWB they would set firmer than I like and sometimes also would darken in colour, a sure sign of being over cooked. This is just my personal findings and should be considered as such as I am not advocating going against what is acceptable research but rather just saying what I do.
It is really easy to over cook ones jams. Do you have a jam thermometer? If not I would suggest that you invest in a good one. I usually always make and test my jams by using one and have found that 9 times out of 10 if the setting point is reached and maintained for 5 minutes than I usually do not have any problems with the set. I frequently add extra pectin in the form of peels, or homemade apple pectin and and yes if feeling lazy also in the way of a sachet of powdered pectin if I don't have any homemade on hand, to my jams being made with known low pectin fruits.

Hayley some jams are hard to make. I think scones are too as mine always end up dry and too firm or like my rock cakes (hard as cement) :lol: I too have made jams which I have passed off as icecream or pancake syrups though thankfully those have been far apart, and usually when i have not tested the setting point for what ever reason.

Kathleen
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon


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