Preserving with Gloria Nicol

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I bought Gloria’s new preserving book, 100 Jams Jellies Preserves & Pickles back at the beginning of July but because I’ve been immersed with all things bread I haven’t had the chance to mention it here but now I must.  I’ve spent a few days boiling down some of my favourite summer fruits using her book and this morning I finally organised myself take some pictures.

It’s about a year since I bumped into Gloria’s blog The Laundry and it was love at first sight, I just adore her style, I like the look of her blog and if you notice I copied her ‘twitter’ logo to my blog.  Gloria manages this difficult line between having a timeless feminine style on her site without stepping into the overly pretty sugary girlie blogs of which are many out there, over stylised and all morphing into sameness.  Sameness is certainly not something you can say about Gloria or her style and when I found out she use to be a stylist I realised how it all made sense that she stood out from the pack and had her own strong individual tone and look.

Gloria’s book covers what’s listed on the cover and also includes recipes for curds, cordials and fruits in syrup.  Every section has classic recipes but also the not so classic like White Currant & Chilli Jam, Hedgerow Jam, Blueberry & Lime Curd, Butternut & Ginger Curd.  It’s a visually satisfying book, every recipe being accompanied by Gloria’s timeless styled photos with subtle attention to detail.

Preserving Summer

Two weeks ago I bought one of my absolutely favourite fruits, white peaches at half price in order to cope through the coming long winter months a bit better.  I used the recipe Gloria has for Peach Marmalade, the only change I made because I was using very sweet white peaches was to lower the sugar amount from 750g down to 700g.

White peach concentrated in a jar tastes divine, it really does.  Within a couple of days of making it the oldest kid and I were making our way through the first jar rather too fast and I realised I need to make more.  I went to my local greengrocers and bought up his stock of yellow peaches and nectarines as they were going for a song.  I’m hoping I’ll have enough now for toast as well as for the occasional special treat like jam tarts or to use as a filling in a sponge cake.

Bikerboy and I had a delicious Peach, Tamarind and Tomato chutney made by David Whitehouse and using Gloria’s Nectarine Chutney recipe I adapted it to make one similar.

I also decided I wanted to bottle the Jubilee strawberry flavour.   You see my idea was not to just make any strawberry jam, I wanted it to be special and Jubilee strawberries for me are that because of their strong fragrance. 

If I was using ordinary strawberries I would follow Gloria’s idea of adding a vanilla pod.  When I was following her recipe of letting the strawberries macerate with the sugar overnight it produced the most heavenly aroma.

I have the cupboard full of little jars of summer and next my attention will be turning to bags full of pears and apples from father-in-law’s trees to turn into something delicious.

I think they make rather lovely Christmas presents too.