Last Sunday I found myself climbing the steps of the Town Hall Hotel, heading to a Newton & Pott Pickle & Jam Masterclass. I had neither pickled or preserved before, so I felt completely unprepared and just hoped I wouldn’t need medical attention after being asked to use a sharp knife.
Luckily, Kylee, originally from New Zealand, was so sweet, patient and easy going I immediately just relaxed and enjoyed the experience. I loved hearing her story, her redundancy pushing her to start a completely new career that saw her selling her unusual jams, chutneys and pickles at Broadway Market. Her interesting flavour combinations coupled with her passion for not only creating edible delights but to help avoid food wastage was compelling.
We began with Spicy Beer Pickles with mustard seeds, peppercorns and chilli. I managed to slice the cucumbers and pour the brine with not too much drama or spillage. Lids on and they were done, super simple and the few escapee cucumbers I sampled tasted lovely. I definitely want to try these on my next burger.
After lunch we started on the jam, I really didn’t expect that jam could be made so easily and quickly. We set to work on our beautiful bundles of rhubarb and zesting and juicing the blood oranges. Again the process seemed simple and although you need a few bits of equipment nothing was particularly expensive or that couldn’t be easily sourced online. As an aside, I fell in love with Kylee’s Ove Glove, not a preserving requirement but a revelation to the cumbersome traditional oven glove which I don’t have and tend to use several tea-towels and I’m constantly burning myself, I ordered one on my way home. I love my Ove Glove.
Anyway, with just 4 ingredients, some patience and a lot of stirring, we somehow ended up with 4 large jars of Rhubarb & Blood Orange jam, along with all my jars of pickles I left the class 4 hours later, laden with handmade delights and a chink of a door opened to a whole new set of skills.
I have booked marked about 20 recipes in Kylee’s book The Modern Preserver and I’m so eager for particular fruits and vegetables to come in to season so I can start chopping them up!
Thank you SO much Kylee, this was an absolutely wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.