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Winter Preserves for Beginners

Updated: Feb 14

  • Experienced housewives are worried about how the specialty jars will survive the winter. While those who are making marmalade or mixed salad for the first time have yet to learn how to choose the best fruits and vegetables, how to properly close the containers.


  1. Even among experienced housewives, the eternal question is how to make a winter garden in the fall that will last throughout the winter. If you are a beginner, there are dilemmas, and foremost, you should select only ripe, by no means overripe, firm, healthy and completely undamaged fruits or vegetables. To be used only if such parts are carefully removed.

  2. Since the color of cleaned fruits and vegetables changes quickly in the air and the vitamins also deteriorate, they should be cleaned and chopped immediately before preparation.

  3. This means that if the fruits and vegetables are from your own garden, pick the fruits immediately before processing, but never before, because they lose their quality by standing and the final product will spoil faster.

  4. The next rule that must be taken into account in the preparation of winter clothing is care for hygiene. Food and utensils used must be spotlessly clean and hands washed before starting each new phase of work. It is best to wash the dishes, jars, and bottles well with clean warm water and then drain and dry the rest. Even better, sterilize them in the microwave or the old-fashioned way by boiling all glass containers in boiling water for at least 20 minutes. And for wiping the dishes, it is important that the cloth must be completely dry, clean, and ironed. For cooking winter wine, you should only use unbroken enameled dishes or those made of stainless steel and bottle stoppers, various rubber bands and rubber rings for patent jars. As well as bottle caps, which should also be boiled before use. The secret to the longevity of wintergreen is in closing the containers in which it will spend several months. One good way is with newsprint and white paper. Beat the egg whites well with a fork, then dip the square pieces and newspaper into that mass and put them two at a time together and cover them over the neck of the bottle. When the egg whites are dry, the bottle is hermetically sealed. There is also a well-known technique of connecting the jars with double-layered cellophane, and housewives also know the secret that it is even more effective when it is moistened with alcohol.

  5. For presalt, (the liquid used to pickle vegetables), it is correct to use only pure wine vinegar and essence. If the preservative sodium benzoate is already used, the calculation says that a bag of 5 grams is enough for 5 kg of fruit or vegetables. More preservatives are not recommended at all.

  6. The winter house should be stored in a dry, ventilated and cool room where the water does not freeze in the winter and the windows are covered so that it is dark inside. In winter, the pantry should be ventilated once a week, preferably around noon. It is less known, and no less important, that the barrel with cabbage should not be kept in the same room as the rest of the winter storage, as it can cause spoilage. If the pantry is wet, it is recommended to put a layer of powdered sugar 2 to 3 cm thick on the surface of the jam and marmalade.

  7. All jars and bottles should be marked with the name and date of manufacture. Some types of winter food such as sweet and jam can be stored for several years, but it is still better to use it within a year.

NOTE: See here for more information on sterilizing jars for winter storage.

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