Our annual pickle competition is really just a blanket term to cover our celebration of the art of pickling, preserving, making and doing.
This Sunday 13 November we are doing it again. It will be a salute to the small batch of home-made something; a nod to making a summer schnapps from fruit you picked yourself, an ode to sharing your creation with friends during the winter months and knowing you got it right.
Pickling is a rebellion against the Cult of the New, it’s a reminder that things that were once good can be good again and spending time on something can only increase its value. We’ve been using the same well-worn cookbooks to learn about how to pickle, from Preserving the Japanese Way to Salt Sugar Smoke there are so many books we could recommend. It's up to you to choose your favourite, and use it until the edges are tatty and the pages stick together with jam sugar.
We would like to invite you to join us on Sunday 13 November, for a discussion, exchange and celebration of preserves. There will be a competition for all your different preserves (jams, jellies, chutneys, cordials, the ever-exciting ‘miscellaneous’) as well as food, drink and chatter.
Here’s a beautiful vin de pêche (peach wine) recipe from Salt Sugar Smoke by Diana Henry, that we'll be serving on the night...
Ingredients: 6 peaches plus the stones from 6 more, 1 vanilla pod, 500ml dry white wine, 200g granulated sugar, 900ml eau de vie or vodka
1. Put the peaches into boiling water for two minutes, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and, when cool enough to handle, slip the skins off. Put the fruits into a sterilized 2 litre jar, add the extra stones, the vanilla pod and the wine. Leave for six days.
2. Now strain off the juice (you can eat the peaches with sugar and cream, or cook them and purée them.) Pour the peach-infused wine into a jug, add the sugar and stir really well. Pour into a 1.5 litre bottle and add enough eau de vie or vodka to fill it right to the top. Seal and leave for three weeks before drinking (shaking the jar every so often.) Serve, chilled, as an aperitif. This will keep for a year.