Fifteen years ago I traded a corporate career for life on the river. Close enough to Melbourne to get a quick City fix, plus a great community with excellent coffee and four healthy active boys to keep me entertained, I've never regretted the change.
Published February 17th 2014
There is no such thing as too many berries
The Berry List - 5 Things to Do With Bulk Berries
You've had a rush of blood out picking raspberries, or it was too good to pass up $5 a kilo strawberries at the local market. The freezer has packed it in, or a friendly neighbour has given you the last of their season's produce.
It's not really very hard to make berry jam. The rule of thumb is equal amounts of sugar to fruit. So if you have 2kgs of fruit, you will need 2kg of sugar.
Some will say heating the sugar first improves the result, others say steep the fruit in sugar overnight.
You may add some lemon juice for extra setting power.
Set the fruit and sugar in a metal pan over heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to boil and bubble away for around 25mins or so. A sugar thermometer is invaluable. The jam is ready when it reaches 105 degrees centigrade (220f). Bottle your jam while it's hot.
Dry less juicy, firmer berries for future snacking
A fruit dryer is a handy investment if you have a lot of produce
Churn some berries with milk and cream through an ice-cream maker. The berries won't last quite as long as they may with some of the other methods, but the kids will enjoy it, especially if you reduce some of the juicier berries with a little sugar to make a pouring syrup.
Set down some raspberry vinegar Green Gables style
Bottle some berries, but make sure you know which is cordial and which is the liqueur
Marilla of Green Gables was famous for her berry products. Raspberry Cordial could easily be mistaken for currant wine, so make sure you clearly label the bottles if you go to the trouble of making either drop.
Preserve the best looking, juiciest fruit in glass
Empty glass jars just waiting for the next haul of berries
A bottling kit consists of a large boiler, a temperature control, glass bottles with seals and assorted accessories. You really only need a large pot, bottles, clean fresh seals and a thermometer to bottle successfully on your stovetop.
Keep everything you use scrupulously clean and your berries will last the year - unless, of course, you eat them all first.