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In The Cupboard

So, I've been reading up a lot of not only the produce but also the storage of said produce and was truly amazed at what some of the books are suggesting is a reasonable time (and recommended!) to keep some things in storage for eating in the winter.
For example, a salted ham recipe that is recommended to be kept in a cool dry place for two years before boiling up and eating! and a 14 year old Slow Gin being the best of the bunch!  

So I was wondering what are your favorite things to do with your "glut" what do you love to pickle, salt and dry, and how do you think these things are best done. How long would you recommend keeping for?

Obviously this is based on no deep freeze allowed, as I know I'm lethal for just jamming everything in the freezer box!

First off as a starter here's my recipe for a glut of red grapes.

Red Grape Jelly:
1kg Red Grapes (taste a few to check sweetness and adjust accordingly)
500g's sugar
one sachet of pectin (or save up all that apple peel and cores and boil it up to make your own)
Juice of 2 lemons.

Add grapes with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot to a medium stove and crush well with tatty champer.

Put on lid and allow to simmer down into a lovely pulp.

Sieve through well, pressing hard with the back of a spoon to get all the pulp through.

Taste here to gauge sweetness and add honey until nice and sweet.

Add juice of two lemons and do not add anymore sweeter.

Jam should be nice and sharp, with sweetness under lying when tasted.

Bring to rolling boil and add sachet of pectin according to instructions.

Test the jam as usual on a freezer cold saucer, for rinkles.

Jar in well sterilized, warm glass jars. Cover with mulin and allow to cool.

When room temperature cut and place a wax paper sheet on exposed surface of jam. Make sure your hands are VERY clean when doing this and try not to touch the paper.

Seal jars, and keep in cool dark place.

I have a jar just opened yesterday which is two years old, and just as nice now as it was then.    Also got a 10p crusty loaf that its going on.

I have enough jars left to have a further test subject available in the far future, to truly see how long this will keep for, but if it lasts that long I'd be surprised, there is nothing tastier than fine red grape jam!!

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