As horrible bush fires rage in Victoria and South Australia, although we can’t smell smoke, there is a haze in the air this morning, and the sunrise looks both beautiful and terrible at the same time.
We are blessed to be free of the threat at the moment though, and it is a joy to visit our Wyandotte hen and her 5 new chicks this morning.
After collecting the eggs, I pick another bucket of pears, and head into the kitchen to make my first attempt at preserving.
My gorgeous neighbour Joy has lent me her Vacola preserver, complete with bottles, lids, seals, clips and instructions. I learn it’s not just fruit I can save now, but vegies, sauces and even meat – I can even cook a ham in it! Why did so many people put this device away in the 1970’s in favour of a ‘deep freeze’ in the laundry or garage???
In fact, I learn so much! Such as my fruit salad will be ‘unpalatable’ unless I preserve passionfruit to add to it each season, and sugar free preserving will work wonders for those who have diabetes… Hmmm. I suppose if the only other fruit you have access too is tinned in heavy syrup?
The book is the 22nd revised edition, and replacement copies:
“…may be purchased from Fowlers Vacola Manufacturing Co. Ltd, 257 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, E.2, Victoria for the sum of 15/6 (which includes sales tax and postage). The Registered Number of your Steriliser must be supplied at the time of ordering – this is important, as no book will be supplied to anyone not having a Vacola Bottling Outfit.”
Now I feel very important as well as knowledgeable!
So I read the little book in detail and start washing and chopping. Hours later my first 9 bottles are done, and it is surprisingly satisfying looking at them all lined up, shiney and beautiful.
It’s been a great, productive summer’s day, but my thoughts linger on all the fire fighters, families and businesses having a horrible day in Southern states, working so hard to preserve life and property. Best wishes to all of you.