Kitchen Tips

Here are a few things that I find useful in the kitchen...

  • If you bake a lot then cut out  a liner for your cake tin using reusable Teflon sheets. Then keep them in the bottom of the tins so they are ready to use when you need them. Saves a whole lot of faffing about with greaseproof paper.
  • You don't have to peel your garlic if you are using a garlic press - just put it in as it is. 

Jams and Jellies
  • Pick over the fruit you are using and remove any stalks etc and only wash the fruit when necessary - make sure you dry it well. 
  • You always want to simmer the fruit in a large pan before adding any sugar as this softens it and helps encourage the pectin which is the natural substance found in fruit that helps jams and jellies set.
  • If you are making a jelly then you need to scald your muslin by placing in a pan of water and bringing to the boil.
  • You must always use sterilised jars but warm or cold depending on whether the jam/jelly you are putting in them is warm or cold. There are lots of ways to sterilize jars, the main three are - immerse in a pan of water and bring to the boil (very good way of doing three or four at at time), wash in very hot soapy water, rinse thoroughly and let them dry in a very low oven, or put them through a hot dishwasher cycle (for some reason I can never bring myself to trust the dishwasher!).
  • Make sure your jars are properly sealed using wax lids and cellophane covers are good for anything going into a hot jar, twist on lids are easier but make sure they have the 'food law approved' lining which can be used sugar and vinegar based products.
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