Have you harvested a few too many cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini, or bought
too much at the supermarket? Preserve them now and you can enjoy their sunkissed
flavour all year long. Here are a few tips for squirrelling away your summer bounty.
Freezing is an easy preservation method, ideal for berries and grapes which retain
their nutrients and flavour for up to six months. To freeze, simply wash the berries,
allow them dry, then spread them out on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Next, place
the pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes before transferring the contents to plastic
baggies. If the real estate in your freezer is at a premium you can skip the sheet pan
method, and place the fruits directly in baggies.
To make economical, and completely natural, at-home seasonings, start by cutting
garden herbs near the bottom of the long stems right before flowering. Bunch the
herbs together and tie the bottom of the stems with butcher’s twine or a small rubber
band. Hang these upside down from a small hook, screwed into the wall or ceiling,
near a window which receives lots of sunlight.
The herbs will dry out in just a few days. Remove the dry leaves by rubbing them
between your palms, then store the leaves in glass jars or in plastic baggies.
Pickling and Canning
Many preservers are big fans of canning stone fruits such as peaches, and pickling
cucumbers, courgettes and green tomatoes.
When it comes to pickling there are a variety of different methods to try, some more
time-consuming than others. “Quick Pickling” only requires placing vegetables in
brine for a few days. Don’t be shy about experimenting with different vinegars, herbs
If you want to can peaches, pears or plums, here is a simple technique which can be
done in a tall stainless steel pot with a tight-fitting lid.
Be sure to stop by the fresh produce section of Famous Foods to pick up some of the
bounties of summer produce and store for use all year.