Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pickles, Jams and Jellies

It's that time of the year again and for the first time in seven (!) years I am in a position to actually take full advantage of what nature gives! For seven years I have spent early autumn away at school, far from the harvest and without space for preserves. So this year I went a bit nuts, eagerly cheered on by my father (who loves eating what I make) and my aunt (who is happy to have someone to go all preserve-geeky with). Here at my home I have all the necessities! A root cellar, a vegetable garden, a greenhouse and forests where I can pick berries. So during the last few weeks I have been quite busy with gathering the harvest and making pickles, jam, jelly, relish, cordial, you name it.

This is a subject that is rather off topic on this blog. But since I already wrote a post about my herbal tea I thought that a picture heavy post about all my preserves would be of interest to some of you. So here goes...

All the types of preserve. From left to right, top row: lingonberry jam, cranberry jam, beetroot marmelade, cucumber relish. Bottom row: apple jam, rowan berry jelly, pickled green tomatoes, pickled beetroot.

Pickled green tomatoes, cucumber relish and pickled beetroots.

Lingonberry jam, beetroot marmelade and cranberry jam.

Isn't the rowan berry jelly the prettiest preserve ever!?

Here are the preserves in my root cellar.
Another view of my root cellar.

In this shadowed corner are my bottles of cordial.

Paavo was very curious about the root cellar, he doesn't get to be there often. ;)

Paavo and some cordial, aronia berry cordial on the left and red currant cordial on the right.
If you are curious about any of the recipes just ask and I'll provide ( metric at least). I have added my own little twist to all of the recipes so I do feel comfortable with sharing them, I just can't be bothered to write them all out right now. My favorite of these preserves is the beetroot marmelade. That was an experiment that failed at first, but on the second go the outcome was delicious! It is sweet, spicy and with a tangy twist of balsamic vinegar. I have yet to taste the pickled green tomatoes and the rowan berry jelly, but I am intensely curious about both!

What are your favorite preserves? Do you make jams or preserves? What kinds do you make or what kinds would you like to make?

Lastly, a picture of Paavo being cute.


  1. Hi Nadja! OMG What amazing preserves that you made! I love preserves too! Marmelades, chatneys, homemade liqueurs.. I wish I had a beautiful celar like you have to put evrything in.
    Are cordials a type of liquer or it's a syrup?

    Lately I made a sweet chilly tomato jam and green chilly pickles.
    Can't wait for the pomegranates to come in season so I can make my spicy liquer again!

    Your rowan berry jelly has a super color! Just amazing! I don't think I have tasted that kind of berry before.

    I would love it if you share recipies with us, especially the beetroot and apple jams:)

    1. Thank you Amanda! Cordials are a concentrated berry or fruit syrup, another word for it is squash, apparently... I was surprised that there are so many words for it in english, and I had never heard any of them used... In swedish we have only one word, saft, and it is such a common thing, everyone has a bottle of saft in their fridge! I guess saft is more common here in the nordic countries. There is even special stainless steel steamers that you can use to effortlessly extract the juice from the berries/fruit.

      Rowan beries are very tart and really inedible as they are, but the jelly is delicious! I tasted it today! :D Still quite tart but really good with meat!

      I can write a new post with some recipes tomorrow!

  2. How beautiful and rustic Nadja! And the cute puppy!!! I've never done any preserving myself but I've been tempted to when I tried a Merlot wine jelly when on vacation recently. It was pretty much the most intensely sweet grape jelly you can imagine, but the place I got it at is 3 hours away and I've never seen it anywhere else. Plus it is 11 dollars a small jar! I am really tempted to try making a version myself, maybe with blackberries and merlot.

    1. Thank you! I have never tried making a wine jelly, or anything with wine in it really. I added a splash of madeira to my cranberry jam, but that's about the extent of my experience with using alcoholic beverages in preserves... Good luck with it!

  3. OMG, I love your root cellar! I haven't made jam or preserves in years - we get so many raspberries that I think my family overdosed on raspberry everything!

    I'm hoping to get back into it once we move to the country. I miss making (and eating!) things I've made with my own hands. I'll have to see if we could build a little root cellar somewhere now, too! :D

    1. Thank you! The root cellar is AWESOME to have! I forced my dad to add another shelf this year as I have never made so much preserves and ran out of space... But there is still room for more shelves! ;D

      Aww... I haven't made raspberry anything ever. There used to be a lot of raspberry bushes quite close, but they are gone now. This year was a blueberry year though, so I have quite a lot of blueberries in the freezer!

      Living in the country is the best (imho)! It is so fabulous to eat off the land!!

  4. So happy you did this post, as I love seeing all the photos of your preserved goodies!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Best of luck with your harvest!

  5. hello I enjoy your blog very much. Could you give me a recipe for the cordials. Also this may sound silly but would you happen to have a recipe for labrador tea jelly?
    cooladam1 at live dot com

    1. Hi John! I e-mailed you but I'll post my answers here as well in case someone else is interested!

      We use a steamer to extract the juice from the berries we use to make cordial and I have never made cordial any other way. I guess you can also boil the berries and then strain to get the juice. To the juice is then added about 500g of sugar for every liter of juice. Bring the blend to a boil so that the sugar dissolves. Pour immediately into clean and hot bottles. Close and let cool before placing in cold storage. In our root cellar where the temperature is 12 degrees Celsius they keep for at least a year.

      I had never heard about Labrador Tea Jelly, but now that you have mentioned it I am craving it! I can't help you with a recipe and I definitely couldn't find one online but there do seem to be a variety of Tea Jelly recipes... Maybe you could use a tea jelly recipe and just use labrador tea instead of ordinary tea? At least I think I'll have to try that!

  6. Nadja, I wanted to thank you for the cordial recipe and also the idea for using a tea jelly recipe for my labrador tea. It turned out very nice and tastes delicious. I also made labrador/blueberry tea and turned it into a beautiful jelly as well.
    Thanks so much

    1. You're very welcome John! I'm glad your experiement turned out great! I'd love to have the recipe you used for the tea jelly if you feel like sharing! .)