The urge to preserve

November in Sydney and summer is missing in action.  It’s cold, windy and raining intermittently.  We should be out crisping our skin under our very own hole in the ozone layer, but instead we’re wearing layers.

I’ve been driven inside, to the stove.  My inner domestic goddess is sterilizing my le parfait jars and preserving chutneys and relishes for the over-indulgence season ahead.

I’ve long been inspired by the river side picnic in Wind in the Willows, where the contents of his picnic basket are described by Ratty;

‘Shove that under your feet,’ he observed to the Mole, as he passed it down into the boat. Then he untied the painter and took the sculls again.
‘What’s inside it?’ asked the Mole, wriggling with curiosity.
‘There’s cold chicken inside it,’ replied the Rat briefly; coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrenchrolls cresssandwidgespottedmeatgingerbeerlemonadesodawater––’



As the influx of cold meats and left overs approaches, I’m boiling up some tasty accompaniments to give those cold plates of meat a good kick.  I’m making sweet-and-spicy tomato relish, piquant apple chutney, and some blow-out-the-sinuses chilli oil.  I’m also considering making some pineapple chutney, reputed to be excellent with ham, but I still need to overcome my lingering doubts connected with ham and pineapple pizza.

These jars will be put up in the store cupboard (ha! who has a ‘store cupboard’?) with smug satisfaction, then foisted on unsuspecting friends when I feel like coming over all Bree van der Kamp.


One response to this post.

  1. G;day there, it’s Steve here, I’m Sarah Craigies dad, she put me on to your blog which I receive by email.
    I love them all, very down to earth and very much, “country”. I was doing private blogs to family and friends but have now shifted to w/press and the blog is convected to our website. When your not too busy try
    Cheers and keep up the good work,I love them.


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