Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Oily Rag - Preserving the summer harvest

Oily Rag - Preserving the summer harvest

By Frank and Muriel Newman

Summer is the time to fill your pantry shelves and freezer with food to last you through to the next growing season. It’s a matter of dollars and sense for the frugal family because fruit and vegetables are cheapest when they are abundant - and serious savers will be making the most of the opportunity!

Those gardening off the smell of an oily rag will have barrow loads of fresh fruit and veggies. But even those who have yet to discover the joys of an oily rag garden should be making the most of the season’s harvest by buying cheap or better still by obtaining free fruit and veggies from neighbours, friends and family!

Here are some different ways to store your abundance.

Freezing is the most common way of preserving food - so common that many people don't really see it as a form of preserving. We reckon having a decent sized freezer is essential for those feasting off the smell of an oily rag. If vegetables and fruit are to be frozen, most need blanching in boiling water to retain maximum flavour and colour.

Although drying food is not all that common today, it is perhaps the easiest and most natural method of preserving food. The whole process of drying foods is designed to remove moisture. This can be done naturally (in the sun), or in an oven or dehydrator.

To sun-dry foods you have to have very dependable weather – desert like conditions are ideal with hot days and low humidity. If the conditions are right then your produce should dry within two to three days. Fruits are the best foods to sun-dry. All that is needed is a clean, flat tray – covered with something like curtain net to keep away pesky flies - and somewhere sunny and high enough to allow foods to dry away from predators (hungry youngsters!). If your weather is unpredictable or time is a factor, then using an oven or borrowing a food dehydrator is probably the best way to go.

Figs are delicious when dried and are great for school lunches or as snack treats. They are abundant at this time of the year but it’s usually a race to pick them before the birds get them!

Bottling is all about killing off ripening enzymes that exist in all fruit and vegetables, and preventing any contact with the air by covering in a brine, vinegar or syrup solution. Preserving stops the enzymes from reacting - preventing any further ripening.

A reader from Auckland says, “Use glass jars with pop-up button lids to preserve fruit. If you don't buy jams and sauces that come in these sorts of jars yourself, ask friends and neighbours for the jars they might otherwise recycle. As long as the lids and jars are undamaged they can be used again and again. Sterilize both jars and lids in boiling water, fill with piping hot stewed fruit, plum sauce etc and screw on the lids while hot. Once the lids have popped down you can literally keep these preserves for years. Old stick-on labels can be soaked and scraped off and residue glue removed with eucalyptus oil.”

And here’s a tip from GP in Whangarei about how to prevent the berries that you buy in punnets from the supermarket from going soft and mouldy before you have a chance to eat them. “When you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider probably work best) and ten parts water. Dunk the berries in this mixture and swirl around, then drain (rinse if you want to although the mixture is so diluted that you can't taste the vinegar) and pop in the fridge. The vinegar kills the mould spores and bacteria on the surface of the berries keeping them fresh and tasty!”

If you have a money saving tip you would like to share, send it to us by visiting www.oilyrag.co.nz - or by writing to us at Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.


Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Architecture:
Ian Athfield Dies In Wellington

New Zealand Institute of Architects: It is with great sadness that we inform Members that Sir Ian Athfield, one of New Zealand's finest architects, has passed away in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington Production: New-Look Tracy Brothers Are F.A.B.

ITV and New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures today released an exclusive preview of the new-look Tracy brothers from this year’s hotly anticipated new series, Thunderbirds Are Go. More>>

ALSO:

Cardinal Numbers:
Pope Francis Names Archbishop From NZ Among New Cardinals

Announcing a list of bishops to be made Cardinals in February Pope Francis named Archbishop John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, overnight from Rome. On hearing the news of the announcement, Archbishop John Dew said "This news is recognition of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the contribution it makes to the global Catholic family." More>>

ALSO:

Nomenclature: Charlotte And Oliver Top Baby Names For 2014

Charlotte and Oliver were the most popular names for newborn girls and boys in 2014... The top 100 girls’ and boys’ names make up a small proportion of the more than 12,000 unique first names registered for children born this year, says Jeff Montgomery, Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriage. More>>

Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news