22 April 2009

5-minute microwave bottling

I am so excited! I found (in Big W) a new book on microwave bottling by Isabel Webb. I first heard Isabel and saw her demonstrate microwave bottling techniques at the Henty Field Days about 14 - 15 years ago. I stood, fascintated, and took down lots of notes on scraps of paper during the demonstration. Wayne and the boys quickly became bored and wandered off (mind you the boys were just 2 and 3 years old at the time), leaving me in a rapt daze.

Microwave bottling was something so new to me, I was still struggling with the old stove-top Fowlers, actually I'm still using the same old stove-top Fowlers outfit, but these days I do a fair bit of microwave bottling too thanks to that wonderful demonstration.

I had to take notes and lots of them because while Isabel had written a beautiful book on the subject, we didn't have the money at the time for me to buy it. Nowadays I have a little more mad money so while it was an impulsive purchase, I've already had a good look through and even tried the drying technique on the last of the apples off the tree (they actually turned out the way the book said they would!).

I've looked on eBay a few times in the hope of picking up one of the original books, but they always went for far more than I was prepared to pay and I have been keeping an eye out in op shops and at garage sales, sure I'd come across one, now I don't have to worry.

The one thing I found most valuable was the information about re-using jam jars, pasta sauce jars etc. They are so much easier to get hold of than the Fowlers jars and of course so much cheaper, generally being free. I've put a request out amongst friends and family to save their jars for me in exchange for a jar or two of jam, pickles or fruit and already they have started to roll in.

I'll do a proper book review and include it in the May Journal after I've tried a few of the recipes and dried a few more fruits, I can't wait to do bananas.

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