Super Tips en
Here in Greece we are blessed with a large variety of fruits and vegetables that our earth provides us. Besides the common uses in the kitchen, they can also be used for marmalades, jams and chutneys, or for various kinds of liquors and spoon sweets. Each winter and summer season, we select these earthly treasures and seal them up in bottles or jars, in order to preserve their aromas, their colors and their flavours.
In summer, apricots and nectarines, when combined, turn into delicious jams. Their pits become exquisite liquors, while sweet, glistening grapes are boiling in the next pot. Bright red watermelons convert to spoon sweets, and juicy tomatoes eventually become a rich sauce, ready for spaghetti and pizzas. Strawberry jams hang out with the jars of peach chutney on the shelf, patiently waiting to be opened and devoured. In winter, we are granted with squash, citrus fruits, apples, pears and quince. With a little bit of magic, they too are transformed into mouthwatering treats. Roots and vegetables are pickled by soaking in a concoction of vinegar, salt and herbs.
In order to preserve these treasures correctly, and for long periods of time, you must seal them in sterilized jars. One simple rule will ensure this procedure is done right – Hot contents goes into a hot jar and cold contents goes into a cold jar. Always remember that!
1. Preheat oven to 150o C. Wash bottles and jars ( don’t forget the lids ) with warm water, soap and baking soda. Dry with clean cloth.
2. Place the bottles and lids face down in the oven where you have already placed a clean cloth on the heated elements. For jars that fit 2kilos leave for 30’ and 45’ for the larger ones.
3. If what you are preparing is hot ( jams and chutneys) remove from oven and fill them up a few inches from the rim. ( use oven mitts to hold bottles ). If you are preparing something cold, remove from oven, place face down on clean cloth, and let the jars cool before filling them up to the rim.
4. Seal tightly, turn upside down and let them settle for 8 hours.
5. Keep them sealed for about a year in a dark, dry spot. Once it’s opened, consume within a month while keeping them in the refrigerator.