National Preserving Week 2020
Preserving was once a pastime associated purely with members of the WI.
However, older hobbies such as calligraphy, knitting and preserving have certainly seen a renaissance over the past few years.
Perhaps lockdown has gone to some people’s heads and the sentiment of wartime (and subsequent years of struggle) Britain of ‘waste not, want not’ has made somewhat of a resurgence. People have created vegetable patches in their gardens, and preserving is cool again.
What exactly is preserving?
Not to be confused with preservation (protecting of buildings), preserving is treating food to maintain its edible state. Examples are freezing, salting, pickling and sugaring. There are many different methods, but these are the most popular.
What’s the point?
Preserving food has been around for millennia. Food doesn’t grow as you wish it would. Twenty potatoes per week along with ten carrots, five beetroots, a head of broccoli and so on… life would be much easier that way. Although you can, of course, buy these things all year round in the supermarket, this involves air miles for some products if purchased out of season. Many people, unlike in the past when it was primarily due to necessity, choose to grow their own food or buy locally because of the lower impact on the environment. Preserving fruit, for example, means you are less likely to have waste.
Furthermore, preserved food significantly lowers the risk of becoming ill as a result of consuming it. Foods stored for a long period of time can spoil and become harmful due to the increase of bacteria in them, such as e-Coli and salmonella.
What could I do?
As it’s National Preserving Week 2020 (Saturday 25th July to Sunday 2nd August), why not give it a go?
What about jam if you have a glut of strawberries or raspberries? Alternatively, you could visit a pick-your-own farm to choose your fruit.
Perhaps you have more tomatoes than you know what you can do with? How about a tomato chutney that you can store in a jar? Maybe you would prefer making a match of tomato sauce for pasta or pizza, then freezing it. Salsa is another tasty possibility.
Pesto is another great thing to try if you are growing basil in the garden. Those of you with walnut trees could even try incorporating those instead of the traditional pine nuts. If you are trying to be even more frugal, use wild garlic too. It tastes delicious on pasta, but you could also add some to a mozzarella and tomato salad for a bit of extra punch.
We’d love to hear from you about your creations. Send us your photos (whether successful or not!) to: firstname.lastname@example.org