Slow Cookers and Preserving?

Now some might think I’ve taken leave of my senses. Using slow cooker books in summer?

Actually, they are just as handy in summer as in winter. In fact there’s a very happy marriage between preserving and slow cooking.

For instance, today there’s loads of fruit to be picked (redcurrants, white currants, blackcurrants, jostaberries and raspberries). Then I will need to do something with them.

Where will dinner preparation fit into all of this?

Answer – fill the slow cookers and let them do the work during the day, and by 6pm at the latest the meal will be ready to serve.I have a Mediterranean style vegetarian dish in one, using vegetables from the garden and a jar of last year’s preserved tomatoes, plus a capsicum or three that needed using.

The large slow cooker is pot roasting a de-boned leg of lamb in a port wine, brandy and tomato sauce. Chunks of root vegetables are cooked alongside the meat. Oh yes, one or two of our pickled onions were added for even more flavour. By the time it’s ready the slow cooker will have made a delicious tasty gravy without any effort at all on my part.

Easy peasy, so by 9.30 this morning we were picking fruit; now it’s time to set to the preserving of the harvest so far.

My advice – don’t put the slow cookers away in the cupboard over summer – they have loads of uses – in those books there are recipes for more summery style dishes too. “Ultimate Slow Cooker” even has recipes for side dishes to accompany the main meal.

For me for now, more fruit picking after the first several kilos of currants and berries are settled nicely in their jars in the preserver.

Preserving and slow cooking – what a team!

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