It seems that here in New Zealand there's surplus fruit and vegetables of some sort almost all year round. It's great to see so many people getting back to good old fashioned preserving in the form of home made pickles and jams. Here at HappBee Planet Jo and I have both been busy making pickles and chutneys then covering them with our new HappBee Wrap jar covers.  Jo has been experimenting with the slow cooker and I've discovered a pickle recipe that tastes just like my favourite commercial brand.

From Jo: PLUM, APPLE & RED ONION RELISH (makes 4x 450g jars)

  • 500g red plums pitted and chopped, (I used frozen stewed plums from last season)
  • 3 cooking apples peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 large red onions thinly slices
  • 80g sultanas or raisins
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 300ml red wine vinegar
  • 300g golden granulated sugar (this relish is quite sweet, I reduced the sugar to 200g for the next batch)
  • 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper.

Put all ingredients into a slow cooker. Stir well to mix. Cover and cook on high for 6-7 hours, stirring every 2  hours or so. Remove the lid for the last hour to reduce liquid slightly.

Place into sterilised jars (see below), cover with a clean tea towel and leave until cold.

Cover the top of the jar with HappBee Jar covers, use the warmth of your hands to mould the cover and press it firmly around the top of the jar then secure tightly with a rubber band (you may need to twist the rubber band round twice to make it nice and tight).

From Linda: FARMHOUSE PICKLE (makes 6-7 400g jars)

1 kg onions

2 kg vegetables (mixture of any or all of the following)

  • beans
  • cabbage
  • courgettes
  • cauliflour
  • capsicum
  • cucumber
  • sweetcorn
  • celery
  • broccoli 

Cut up the veges small and put in a large pot. Cover 2/3 with water. Add a good tablespoon of sea salt and bring to the boil until the veges are slightly tender.

Strain off the water, return the veges to the pot.

Add 500g sugar and 1.2litres malt vinegar and boil for 5 minutes.

Mix 1-2 heaped tbsp flour, 1 tsp mustard powder, 2 tsp tumeric & 1 tbsp curry powder to a smooth paste with a little vinegar then stir into the vegetable mixture. Stir gently until the mixture thickens then cook for a further 7-10 minutes.

Place into sterilised jars (see below), cover with a clean tea towel and leave until cold.

Cover the top of the jar with HappBee Jar covers, use the warmth of your hands to mould the cover and press it firmly around the top of the jar then secure tightly with a rubber band (you may need to twist the rubber band round twice to make it nice and tight).

To sterilise jars

Heat oven to 100degC. Wash jars in HOT water and detergent, dry and place upside down  on the oven rack for 10 minutes. Remove jars singly to fill.