The process of preserving

What is on your ‘I want to do’ list? Not necessarily your bucket list, not the things you have to do (ironing, wash the kitchen floor) but things you want to have a go at. I’m thinking of things like making sourdough bread or taking up that hobby you’ve always thought about.

For a while now, pickling and preserving has been on my list. I think it has something to do with being in New Zealand where we have access to lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Whether it is making feijoa and apple chutney (must make some next year!) or a simple carrot and ginger pickle or trying out Annabelle Langbein’s roasted nectarine chutney (a definite when stone fruit season is here), I just enjoy the whole process. I have in fact four books dedicated to preserving and pickling: two by Kirsten Day, Diane Henry’s Salt Sugar Smoke and the more recently acquired The Modern Preserver by Kylee Newton. Of course, there are many more pickles and preserves to try from lots of other sources (see the grapefruit and pink peppercorn curd I tried), but these are my current sources of ideas and inspiration.

Pickles and jams

Last weekend, I had a go at a different way of preserving lemons, as seen in The Modern Preserver. Instead of salt, you make a rosemary scented pickle brine. I have yet to try them but they look really good, and can be used in sweet dishes as well as savoury apparently.

Preserved Lemons…
A finished jar

With the left over pickle brine, I decided to pop in a finely sliced kohlrabi along with some black peppercorns, bayleaves and thyme. I have no idea what this will be like, but will report on the success or failure at a later date!

Finally, I made this fennel and orange pickle also from The Modern Preserver. I love a good fennel and orange salad, so hopefully this pickle will be good too. I’m definitely going to try it with fish over the weekend, and will, of course, report back.

Fennel and orange – a good combination
The pickle topped with fennel fronds

What do you enjoy doing you had never predicted for yourself?

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on


  1. Interesting question. I don’t really have an answer, at least not yet. Probably because I am doing exactly what I want to be doing—writing and selling books. This is the center of my life around which everything else revolves. 😉 Looking forward to reading about how your preserves turn out.


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