Beetroot Recipes

Salad with cabbage and beets. Home canning

Beetroot recipes

October is the time when beetroot comes into its own, brightening up the grocery store with its earthy, purple flesh and giving kitchen enthusiasts the creative challenge of what to do with it. No doubt, many of us have recollections from childhood of great lumps of beetroot pickled in eye-wateringly strong vinegar; however, things have moved on since then and there are a whole host of sophisticated beetroot recipes available and some great pickling ideas.

Preserving beetroot in jam jars

To avoid repeating mistakes from the past when it comes to pickling beetroot, it is important not to over-boil the beetroot and not to use malt vinegar, as this type of vinegar is too strong and distorts the real taste of the beetroot.

Instead, try pickling beetroot in red wine vinegar and adding some shallots, fresh peppercorns and crushed sea salt. Rather than boiling the beetroot prior to preserving, try baking them slowly in the oven for about three hours. Don’t peel the beetroot until you have cooked them to keep all that delicious flavour locked in. Once cooled, peel the beetroot and slice thinly, layering it with the sliced shallots in some sterilised glass food jars. Add the salt and pepper to the vinegar and heat until just simmering, then pour over the beetroot and seal the jars straight away. Pickled beetroot is ready to eat immediately, but will also keep well.

Jam jars

When it comes to preserving beetroot, straightforward pickling is what usually springs to mind. There is far more to the humble beetroot, however, and it is possible to make delicious beetroot jam, chutney and all manner of other delights to fill those empty food jars with purple loveliness. Beetroot jam in particular is perfect with cheese and crackers or cold meats. Here is our favourite beetroot jam recipe:


800g beetroot

1kg sugar

220ml lemon juice

275ml water

2½ tsp ground ginger

140g chopped almonds

  1. Peel and grate the beetroot in a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well, then cover and set aside overnight.
  1. In the morning, place the beetroot mixture in a saucepan and add the water and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, stirring gently.
  1. Once it has reached boiling point, leave to simmer very gently for about three hours, stirring occasionally until the liquid has gone and the jam has thickened. Be careful not to burn the jam. Add the ginger and walnuts to the jam and stir thoroughly to combine.
  1. Pour the jam into warm, sterilised jam jars and seal.

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Swing top bottles for carbonated drinks

Swing top bottles for carbonated drinks

Homemade ginger ale

We all get a craving for a delicious, chilled fizzy drink now and again. Children especially love a ‘fizzy pop’ drink and it can be quite a challenge to steer them away from regular, processed fizzy drinks. Making your own carbonated drinks could be the answer, as you are in control of both the ingredients and the sugar content. By making up a batch of homemade fizzy drinks, you will have a thirst-quenching bottle of something tasty to hand whenever the mood takes you.

Glass bottles for carbonated drinks

Before we get down to some recipe ideas, it is important to consider the bottles you are going to use for your fizzy drinks. Our range of swing top bottles is perfect for fizzy drinks, providing a strong and lasting seal to keep all those bubbles locked in. The range covers bottles in all shapes and sizes, from 250ml individual sized bottles right up to one-litre bottles for larger quantities. Some of our favourites are the Kilner swing top bottles, which are available in a range of pastel colours.

Glass bottles for that nostalgic feeling

Apart from their functional qualities, swing top bottles really look the part and evoke a certain nostalgia for times gone by when traditional homemade sodas and pops were still available to buy locally. Traditional lemonades, dandelion and burdock and cream sodas were all tasty treats that every member of the family looked forward to. If you are planning a party, making a variety of old-fashioned carbonated drinks will provide a delightful touch for guests who do not want an alcoholic drink.

Homemade ginger ale

If all this talk of fizzy drinks has whetted your appetite for creating your own, why not have a go at this simple ginger ale recipe?


100g sugar
2 tbsp grated ginger
juice of 1 lemon
¼ tsp baker’s yeast
2 litres cold mineral water


1. Add all the ingredients to a two-litre plastic bottle and half fill with water. Screw on the cap and shake the bottle well to ensure the ingredients have mixed well. Add the rest of the water and shake again.

2. Transfer the mixture to glass bottles and seal. Store the drink in a warm place for two days to allow fermentation. After this time, move to the fridge to stop the fermentation process.

3. When you are ready to drink the ginger ale, open the bottle over the sink in case of excess fizziness!

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How to pickle onions

Two isolated bottles of freshly bottled home made pickled onions on white

How to Pickle Onions

For many home preserving enthusiasts who are keen to extend their efforts from jam making into something savoury, pickled onions are an easy first step. This British favourite is an essential part of the ploughman’s lunch and can be enjoyed with many savoury dishes, from fish and chips to a cheese and crackers supper. Whilst they are easy enough to source from the supermarket, nothing beats homemade pickled onions. If you get cracking now, your own pickled onions will be ready for Christmas.

Whilst you can use pre-mixed pickling spices to add to your vinegar, we prefer to mix our own fresh spices. Here is our simple recipe for tasty pickled onions:


500g pickling onions
25g salt
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
100g sugar
750ml malt vinegar


1. Top and tail the pickled onions, place in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. After 30 seconds, drain the onions in a colander and pour over lots of cold water. This will make it easy to remove the onion skins.

2. Once peeled, place the onions in a large bowl with the salt, cover the bowl and set it aside overnight.

3. After soaking overnight, rinse well in cold water and allow to dry.

4. Pack the onions tightly into sterilised glass pickle jars.

5. Place the spices, sugar and vinegar in a large pan and heat to allow the sugar to dissolve. Don’t allow the liquid to boil.

6. Pour the liquid over the onions, making sure each jar contains some spices.

7. Seal the jars and leave to cool before storing in a cool, dark cupboard.

The pickled onions will be ready in about two months. Once opened, always store the jar in the fridge.

Choosing your pickle jars

Whilst you can technically put your pickled onions in any size of jar you like, larger sizes of jars are most commonly used. Our 907ml pickles jar has the word ‘pickles’ etched on the front and makes a great homemade gift when filled with your own pickling endeavours. For a simpler look, the 720ml straight-sided jar is a good choice, as is the 500ml deluxe jar.

Extra-large pickle jars

If you plan on pickling onions on a larger scale, our half-gallon and one gallon-sized glass pickle jars are just what you need. These glass jars both have a traditional look, reminiscent of the large jars of pickled onions and pickled eggs you might see in a traditional British chippy.

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Making chutney for Christmas presents

Onion pineapple chutney on rustic wood.

Making Chutney for Christmas Presents

Giving homemade Christmas presents is a really nice thing to do, both for the giver and the recipient. In a world of easy consumerism, taking the time to create a homemade gift tells the recipient that you have really thought about the gift and have put effort into making it for them. If you have given jams and sweet preserves in the past and fancy trying something savoury this year, why not make a batch of chutneys?

Ideas for filling your chutney jars

Chutney can be made from either fruit or vegetables, or a mixture of the two, and is perfect for using up surplus produce from the garden. If you still have green tomatoes in the greenhouse, with no prospect of them ever ripening, why not turn them into delicious green tomato chutney? Since apple season is in full swing right now, a spiced apple chutney would be a great way to use some up and makes a tasty alternative to apple sauce served with roast pork or cold meats. Plum chutney is another firm favourite and is fabulous spiced with cinnamon.

Try chilli chutney for something that packs a bit of a punch – you can vary the type and quantity of chillies to get the right level of heat in your chutney. No Indian food is complete without mango chutney, of course, and this is surprisingly easy to make at home; in fact, chutney is so versatile that you can get a few jam jars out and simply experiment with all sorts of ingredients to come up with your own unique recipes.

Choosing the perfect chutney jars

Whilst traditional jam jars are perfectly fine for holding chutney, you might like to choose a fancier jar if you plan to give your chutney as a gift. Our traditional glass chutney jar actually has the word ‘chutney’ etched stylishly on the front; in addition, we have a matching ‘pickles’ jar in the same range. Team these together and present them in one of our two-jar gift boxes, set off with one of our vintage-inspired Father Christmas gift tags; alternatively, our hexagonal chutney jars make your chutney gifts look extra special.

Why not make two or three different chutneys and give a mixed set of three jars? Identified with our colourful chutney labels and placed in a presentation gift bag or box, these would look every inch as professional as a similar gift bought from a high street store but with the advantage of being entirely homemade.

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How to Bottle Vegetables

How to Bottle Vegetables

Winter stores, vegetables in jars

If you grow your own vegetables, it is almost inevitable that you will have a glut of produce at some point. If you have already made enough chutney to last several years and your freezer is full to overflowing, it is time to start thinking about preserving some of your vegetable bounty in canning jars ready for the long winter months ahead.

Using preserving jars to bottle food

Vegetables have a much lower acid content than most fruits and therefore require a little more effort to bottle successfully. Whilst you can bottle fruits by immersing the filled canning jars in boiling water and simmering for a specified time, this process is not suitable for vegetables; instead, a pressure canner is needed to ensure that all the bacteria is killed during the canning process.

Kilner jars, or similar, are ideal for bottling vegetables, as they form an airtight seal when used correctly to prevent any bacteria entering the jar and spoiling the contents.

Filling the preserving jars

Some vegetables work better when bottled than others and it pays to experiment with small batches to find what works best. Some good candidates for bottling include broad beans, runner beans and French beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers and asparagus.

Vegetables should be preserved in a brine solution, which can be made by adding 150gm salt to one litre of water. All canning jars should be cleaned and then sterilised in boiling water for 10 minutes before use. Make sure that you only use the best quality vegetables and discard any with blemishes or other damage. Cut the vegetables into suitably-sized pieces and blanch them in boiling water. With the preserving jars still hot, pack the vegetables in, cover with the boiling brine solution and put the lids loosely onto the jars.

Following the instructions for your particular pressure canner, place the jars into the canner and add water. Put the lid on the pressure canner, with the steam vent open. When steam has been coming out of the vent consistently for several minutes, set the pressure and keep on the heat for the required time. The manual for your own particular pressure cooker will tell you the length of time you need; however, as a general guideline, here are some times for commonly canned vegetables:

Asparagus: 35 minutes.
Peas: 45 minutes.
Peppers: 40 minutes.
Tomatoes: 20 minutes.

After pressure cooking, remove from the heat and allow to cool completely until the pressure dial is showing zero. Remove the jars and check that a vacuum seal has formed on each jar. Store the finished product in a cool cupboard.

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Freezing Meals in Enamel Dishes

Home-made shepherds pie in traditional enamel dish.

Freezing Meals in Enamel Dishes

So many of us lead incredibly busy lives, juggling full-time work and a lengthy commute with looking after the children and somehow finding time to keep the house in order and have some semblance of a social life. When something has to give, all too often it can be mealtimes and we turn to convenience foods that are not very healthy or even very tasty. There is a solution, however, which is to prepare your own ‘convenience meals’ and freeze them, giving you a ready supply of pre-cooked meals that just need heating up when you need them. Here we take a look at a few ideas for freezing meals and storing them in enamel dishes.

The best approach to creating some frozen meals is to prepare a large batch and divide it up into several servings; for example, if you cooked a large quantity of mince with onions, mushrooms and tomatoes, you could then season some of it for spaghetti bolognese, add some kidney beans and chilli powder to another portion for chilli, and top the rest with mashed potato for cottage pie. With minimal effort, you have three different meals ready for freezing.

Another great thing about preparing a batch of meals to freeze is that it enables you to use up food that might otherwise be wasted. If you have some eggs you need to use up, for example, why not make a quiche, throwing in any bacon, peppers, onions or mushrooms you also have left over?

Using enamelwares to store your frozen meals

Using enamel pie dishes for pre-cooked cottage pie or lasagne, for example, would give you a stock of meals that taste great and look fantastic. Fish pie is another potato-topped pie that works brilliantly frozen and makes a change from a meat-based meal. The beauty of using enamel dishes for frozen meals is that you can take them out of the freezer, defrost them and simply put them straight into the oven to cook, with no need to transfer the food into another container before reheating. Enamel dishes also look great and you can take the dish straight from the oven to the table, ready to serve.

Our range of enamelwares

We stock a wide range of enamelwares that are suitable for preparing meals in advance and freezing them. Our enamel pie dishes are the obvious choice and come in sizes that suit single portions right through to family-sized dishes. The oblong dishes are ideal for cottage pie, shepherd’s pie and lasagne, whilst the round dishes suit quiches, savoury tarts and pies.

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Kitchenwares at Wares of Knutsford

Kitchenwares at Wares of Knutsfordthe-kitchen

When people think of Wares of Knutsford, they often visualise jam jars and preserving equipment. It is very true that we are specialists in home preserving supplies; however, we also offer a huge range of quality kitchen accessories to suit cooks of all styles and tastes. From baking equipment to cookware and storage to gadgets, we offer a comprehensive selection of accessories for all kinds of kitchen aficionado.

Kitchenwares for the traditional cook

For a splash of nostalgia, the Mason Cash range of mixing bowls reminds many of growing up, with mum or grandma making amazing cakes and puddings. No doubt we can all remember when, as children, we were allowed to lick the spoon once the cake mix had been spooned into the baking tin! Today, the Mason Cash range includes all the old favourites such as mixing bowls, pudding basins and baking dishes; in addition, it has been extended to feature bowls in bright, funky colours and an authentic terracotta range perfect for Moroccan and Mediterranean cooking.

Other traditional kitchen accessories include some simple items from times gone by, such as our old-fashioned glass and chrome sugar dispenser, traditional jelly moulds, and even a vegetable peeler just like everyone’s mum used to use.

Kitchenwares for the modern cook

Whilst the traditional approach to home baking and cooking has a lot to recommend it, some cooks prefer a more contemporary look and enjoy using all the latest kitchen gadgets. Our pasta making range is second to none – no matter what type of pasta you fancy creating, we have the kit to make it happen. If Heston Blumenthal’s approach to cooking inspires you, perhaps a cook’s blowtorch is in order for a little brûlée drama in the kitchen. From basters and injectors to burger makers and speciality jelly moulds, we have the accessory you need.

It is great fun to buy kitchen items for yourself, but they also make fabulous gifts for anyone who enjoys home cooking or baking. With Christmas just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start a little early gift shopping to avoid those last-minute panic buying sprees. It is simple to find the ideal gift in our easy, no-fuss online store and our delivery costs are fixed, regardless of the size of your order. Why not browse our kitchenwares section to see top name ranges, such as Mason Cash, Kitchen Craft and Falcon, and accessories for food prep, baking, storage, tablewares and more?

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Kitchen Accessories – Traditional and Modern

35_cm_mixing_bowl__09522.1351714728.1280.1280[1]Kitchen Accessories – Traditional and Modern

Anyone who has ever visited a British stately home and marvelled at the gleaming rows of copper pans, jelly moulds and fish kettles in the Victorian kitchen will know that kitchen accessories have a rich and interesting history. Having a kitchen that is well-stocked with useful gadgets and accessories is not a new concept and here we take a look at a few items from our kitchenwares range, highlighting some trusted old favourites and one or two newer items that would have had the Victorian cook a-flutter with excitement.

Traditional kitchen accessories

The humble kitchen apron is perhaps the simplest but most useful kitchen item. Our traditional striped butcher’s apron is an all-time favourite with customers and lends a serious air to any budding chef. We also stock oven gloves to match all our kitchen aprons for an all-round stylish look.

Our range of condiment pots covers both traditional and modern designs, including a glass and chrome cruet set with 1950s styling and everyone’s favourite retro item, the squeezy tomato sauce bottle shaped like a plump red tomato. Technology has not ignored the humble salt and pepper pot, with our electric grinding mill providing the perfect milling of either salt or peppercorns every time.

One of the simplest gadgets that we probably all remember from our parents’ kitchens is the sand timer. These are still available in both wooden and steel versions, of course, but we also have fancier versions, such as wind-up timers, a quirky colour-changing egg timer, and a fun cow-shaped timer for young cooks.

Modern kitchen accessories

With advances in modern cooking, we have developed a much better understanding of cooking processes and food hygiene and we are all now much more aware of the need for food – especially meats – to be cooked thoroughly. For anyone who is serious about their cooking, a digital cooking thermometer is a must-have accessory, taking away all the guesswork when it comes to cooking top-notch dishes.

The Victorian kitchen would have contained many different gadgets for all manner of fancy dishes, and many of these have had something of a contemporary style makeover for the modern kitchen. Our lobster crackers, fish bone removers and oyster knives all have their origins back in the kitchens of the grand old houses of centuries past; however, they now form part of an elegant kitchenwares range that would look fabulous in even the most modern of homes.

Whether you are looking for something traditional or modern, be sure to check out our kitchenwares range, as there is bound to be something to tempt you.

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Toffee for Bonfire Night

Fudge candy, coffee beans and caramel on baking paper, served over white tablecloth with vintage knife, jar of brown sugar and old pan

Toffee in Glass Jars for Bonfire Night

With less than one month to go until Bonfire Night, many of you will be starting to think about this year’s bonfire party. In addition to organising the fireworks, building the bonfire and creating a spooky Guy to go on top, it is time to consider what you plan to serve to your party guests. Besides delicious hot dogs with onions, baked potatoes and spicy pulled pork rolls, your guests will no doubt be hoping for some sweet treats. Bonfire toffee is a firm favourite and no bonfire party would be complete without it. Here is a simple recipe for dark and sticky toffee that is just right for 5 November.


500g dark brown sugar
125gm black treacle
125gm golden syrup
130ml hot water
½ teaspoon cream of tartar


1. Line a large flat baking tray with baking parchment and grease thoroughly.

2. Put the sugar and water into a saucepan and heat. Rather than stirring, gently swirl the pan around until the sugar has dissolved completely.

3. Add all the other ingredients and continue to heat, bringing to the boil. Again, don’t stir the mixture but keep it from sticking or burning by moving the pan.

4. Using a jam thermometer, measure the temperature of the mixture. Keep boiling until the temperature reaches 140°C.

5. As soon as the temperature is reached, pour the mixture into the baking tray.

6. Leave the toffee to cool and then remove it from the tray and break it up with a rolling pin. Store in an airtight container ready to serve.

Store your toffee in sweet jars

Once you have made your toffee, you need a suitable jar to store it in ready to hand around on Bonfire Night. Our glass jars are reminiscent of old-fashioned sweet shop jars and are just the ticket. As you will be outside in the dark, popping your toffee in a jar will mean it is easy to pass around to guests without getting dropped or knocked off the table. These jars are available in fun, contemporary colours and will look smart no matter what kind of sweets you store in them.

Plastic sweet jars

In addition to our range of glass jars, we stock a variety of plastic storage jars that look exactly like those sweet shop jars we all grew up with. They come in a range of sizes, with the largest a whopping 4,430ml – perfect to hold enough toffee for an army of excited guests!

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Soups in Kilner Jars

Soups in Kilner Jars

With autumn upon us and the leaves starting to turn on the trees, what could be more heartening than making some delicious homemade soups to store for the coming months? Canning a range of soups in preserving jars will set you up for many hearty lunches and cosy suppers, served with crusty homemade bread.

Jars of home canned food on a picnic table in autumn

How to can soup in Kilner jars

There are a few rules to consider when making soup to store in preserving jars. Don’t add any pasta, rice, noodles, cream or other dairy product, or any thickeners. These ingredients should only be added when you heat the soup, just prior to eating it.

Home-canned soup will always need to be pressure-canned to ensure that all bacteria are eliminated. A special pressure canner is needed for this; it is not enough to simply stand your Kilner jars in a pan of boiling water. Without proper pressure canning, you risk all sorts of bacteria remaining in the food and your soup may be spoiled when you open it, or may even give you food poisoning! Don’t be tempted to use a standard pressure cooker, as pressure canners are much bigger and reach much higher temperatures. Invest in a proper pressure canner, such as the Hawkins Bigboy or the Mirro pressure canner, to do the job properly.

Filling those Kilner jars

Rather than simply adapting a conventional soup recipe, it is better to follow a specific home-canning recipe. Here is our recipe for homemade spicy vegetable soup, which makes about seven pint jars.


2lb tomatoes, chopped and peeled
1.5lb diced potatoes
1.5lb chopped carrots

1lb chopped celery

1lb chopped onion

1lb diced swede
2 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper
3 cups water


1. Place the preserving jars in a pan of simmering water, ready for use. Wash the lids and bands and set aside.

2. Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan or crockpot and add the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

3. Use a slotted spoon to ladle vegetables into the jars, filling half way. Pour the liquid over the vegetables to ensure all jars get an equal mix. Leave one inch at the top of each jar. Screw the lids onto the preserving jars.

4. Process the jars in the pressure canner at 10lb pressure for 50 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the canner to reach zero pressure. Wait for five minutes and then remove the canner lid. Leave the jars for 10 minutes to cool.

5. After 24 hours, check the jar lids to ensure a seal has formed.

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Autumn Recipes for Mason Jars

Autumn Recipes for Mason Jars

With the arrival of October, there is no escaping the fact that autumn has very definitely arrived. Some of us may have enjoyed a brief Indian summer over the last few weeks, but now the nights are rapidly drawing in and the temperatures are dropping. Far from hankering for the summer that has passed, it is now time to embrace autumn and all that it offers to the adventurous enthusiast of canning and preserves. It is easy to think that the end of the growing season means the end of the preserving season; however, nothing could Stencilsbe further from the truth and there are still plenty of possibilities for filling those empty preserving jars.

Preserving fruit in Mason jars

The start of autumn means the start of apple season. As with most fruit trees, apple trees typically produce such a quantity of fruit at one time that we often wonder what we can do with it all. Try canning apple sauce, adding cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice for some different flavours. Apple butter is another delicious idea and is the perfect sweet treat for the cold mornings to come. If you are an apple pie fan, fill a few jars with prepared apples for ready-made apple pie filling. Many people don’t realise that apples form the basis for traditional mincemeat but you could make your own mincemeat now and have 100% homemade mince pies at Christmas.

Preserving vegetables in Mason jars

Large preserving jars are perfect for canning large batches of vegetables to use up any end of summer gluts. It is possible to pickle most vegetables, with your imagination the only limit. If you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, try pickled brussels sprouts spiced with garlic and chilli flakes. With Halloween looming, a pickled pumpkin recipe might be just the ticket to use up the carved-out pumpkin flesh. Flavoured with chillies, allspice, cinnamon and ginger, pickled pumpkin will keep for up to six months in sealed preserving jars.

There are so many other possibilities for pickling vegetables, such as marinated roasted peppers, pickled cauliflower, sauerkraut and pickled beetroot. These ideas are all simple to prepare and will provide a pantry full of hearty, warming food to use up through the winter months.

Preserved fruit and vegetables also make great gifts, of course, and provide a welcome change from jam or chutney. With Christmas on the horizon, now is a good time to start planning ahead to produce some unusual and tasty Christmas treats.

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Small Glass Jars with Lids

Small Glass Jars with Lids

When it comes to home preserves, it is easy to think that big is best and that a 1lb jar is the perfect size for every conceivable jam, pickle or preserve; however, sometimes the best things really do come in small parcels and a much smaller jar is more appropriate. Here we take a look at some of our small glass jars and highlight some creative and inspiring ways in which to use them.

Introducing our small glass jars

We will classify a small jar as one with a capacity of less than 120ml. We have a wide choice of different sizes within this range, with the smallest jars just 30ml in size. There are jars with lids that screw on and jars with clip top lids, jars that look just like a miniature standard jam jars and fancier jars in all kinds of shapes, from hexagonal to globe shaped and more besides.

Creative ideas for small glass jars

There are lots of times when a standard jam jar is not the right si

Three small jars of marmalade or jam on wooden table. Toned image

ze for a particular preserving project; for example, if you run a B&B or regularly have guests to stay, offering jam and marmalade in miniature pots is a great idea to steal from the big hotels. Another great idea is to use these little jars to give as gifts. Instead of presenting friends and family with a large jar of one flavour, add some variety by giving them a set of three or more jars, each filled with a different jam or chutney.

These small jars with lids also make fantastic spice jars; in addition, we have some slim jars within our range that are the traditional shape for spice jars. With a batch of jars such as these, you can do away with supermarket herbs and spices and buy fresher, more authentic versions from an independent store or ethnic food outlet. Once you have tasted the difference, you will never go back to big brand herbs and spices!

We can’t mention these smaller jars without talking about wedding favours. Brides from across the country turn to us for dinky glass jars with lids to use on their wedding tables to hold their wedding favours, with ideas including traditional sweets and more inventive options such as homemade fudge, nuts and even wild flower seeds!

Whatever idea you have for your next jam or chutney making session, why not consider using some smaller jars and seeing where this leads you?

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1lb Jam Jars for Sale

1lb Jam Jars for Sale

Whether you are new to jam making or a seasoned pro with many years of home preserving under your belt, having a good supply of quality jam jars is essential. The opportunities for making jam often present themselves rather unexpectedly, meaning that keeping jam jars in stock and ready is always a good idea. Whether windfall apples, hedgerow apples or a gift of strawberries from a gardening neighbour, n

Jars of jam and basket with cherry on background.

one of these ‘free gifts’ will go to waste if you are prepared for preserving – all can be turned into delicious jam.

Standard 1lb jam jars

The most commonly-used of all jam jar shapes and styles is the much-loved classic 1lb jar. This traditional jam jar is perfect for all sorts of jams, pickles and preserves; in addition, it is the perfect size for the kitchen table or indeed to give away as a homemade gift. We have a wide variety of 1lb jars for sale here at Wares, with the standard straight-sided 1lb glass jar one of the most popular.

These jars are known as standard jam jars for two reasons. Firstly, the 1lb size means it is incredibly easy to calculate how many jars will be needed if you are using imperial measurements in your recipe. Secondly, if you are feeling adventurous and ready to enter your jams or preserves into any kind of competition at a country show or village fete, the 1lb jar is the regulation size required by the judges. If you plan on taking the time and effort to submit your jam to outside scrutiny at a show, the very last thing you want is to be disqualified on the grounds of using the wrong jar!

Having perused the 1lb jam jars for sale in our online store and made your choice, it is time to think about what to put in them. Blackberry and apple jam is spot on at this time of year, as both fruits are freely available. On the savoury side, why not have a go at some homemade chutney if you are looking for ways to use up all the remaining tomatoes, onions, celery or cabbage from your vegetable patch? Again, a 1lb jar is the perfect size. If you have a plum tree in your garden, you may be harvesting plums right through into October and a batch of delicious spiced plum jam with cinnamon could be just the thing to use up those last fruits.

Simple is often best and we think our 1lb jars are no exception!

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Where to buy jar packaging

Where to buy jar packaging

Jam making is so enjoyable that it can quickly become addictive. We all begin by making a few jars for ourselves, then start offering them to neighbours. Before long, we realise that our jammy creations would make great homemade gifts. The one thing that holds us back from giving our produce as gifts is the fact that a jar or two of jam does not look all that impressive on its own; however, with a little extra effort and some stylish packaging, your jars of jam will look just as professional as the gift packs on display in the big department stores.  media_008__15176.1424695239.243.241

 Jam jar packaging 

We stock quite a variety of packaging for jars, bottles and other home-produced items. Our natural-coloured gift cartons are one of the simplest yet most effective ways to present jams and chutneys in a stylish way. The cartons come in two-jar and three-jar sizes for both small and medium jam jars. A gift carton such as this enables you to give a selection of preserves in one gift; for example, one jar of raspberry jam, one jar of marmalade and one jar of blackcurrant jelly would make a lovely present. For a savoury version, fill a two-jar carton with one jar of green tomato chutney and one jar of piccalilli.  

An alternative to the gift cartons is the hessian jute bags we offer. These jute bags are designed to hold two or three jars of jam or preserves safely and securely. The clear plastic windows at the front of the bag mean that the jar labels are clearly visible and these bags turn a simple gift into something really quite special.

 If you fancy making up a small hamper of goodies to give as a gift, we also stock a range of card trays. Filled with a mix of homemade produce, such as jams, pickles, homemade fudge and a bottle of homemade wine or two, these trays would make a hamper to rival the expensive ones available from high street stores. CGC506RD_WH__69492.1473240232.243.241

Jar packaging accessories 

To complement our packaging for jars, we also carry a wide range of accessories. Those gift trays would look even better tied with a colourful ribbon and with all the items secured on a bed of fine cut shred. Our ribbons come in many designs, including gingham check, spotty dots and pastel patterns. The fine cut shred is available in cream, red or green to suit any occasion.

 We hate to say it, but Christmas is coming. Stock up now so that you are ready to give your homemade produce as Christmas gifts with pride.




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How to make elderberry wine

How to make elderberry wineelderberry wine blog

Early autumn in the UK is when Mother Nature hands out many free gifts. From the ubiquitous blackberry to less commonly used fruits such as rowan berries, crab apples and rosehips, there is plenty available for the keen forager and home preserver. Elder is a plant that keeps on giving, producing elderflowers for cordial in the springtime and – if you didn’t strip the tree of flowers at that point – elderberries in early autumn. One of the most popular uses for elderberries is to make wine. Read our elderberry wine recipe below to discover just how easy it is to make.

Equipment needed for elderberry wine

To make any kind of homemade wine, there are a few pieces of equipment that you will need. These include a fermentation bucket, clean demijohns, airlocks with stoppers, a funnel, a siphon hose, sterilising tablets and, of course, some wine bottles and stoppers or corks.

It is vital for homemade wine that everything is cleaned and sterilised meticulously in advance. Start by cleaning any visible signs of dirt or dust from all the equipment. You can only sterilise effectively, once you have cleaned your equipment thoroughly. Campden tablets are used for the sterilisation stage and these are widely available.

Elderberry wine recipe

Once you have gathered the ripe elderberries, strip them off their stems using a fork. Rinse them to remove anything unwanted, weigh them and put them in a pan. Mash them up a little using a potato masher or a clean bottle, cover the berries with water and bring to the boil. Let them simmer for 20-30 minutes and then add sugar equal to the weight of the berries, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Allow to cool and then transfer the mixture to the sterilised fermenting bucket. Add additional water – around one gallon for every 3lb of fruit. Stir in a packet of red wine yeast, a pack of yeast nutrient and a small amount of lemon juice. Mix everything well and leave to ferment for one week.

When fermented, strain the berries and pour the juice into sterilised demijohns. Add airlocks and store in a warm, dark place.

Check the wine regularly. After about six weeks, rack it to remove the sediment and store again, this time somewhere cooler. Taste the wine at this stage; if necessary, add a little extra sugar.

After another couple of weeks, rack the wine into bottles and store. It should be ready to drink in six months but can be stored for much longer.

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Bottles for sloe gin

Bottles for Sloe Gin

Making sloe gin is often the first foray into home preserving. Out for an autumn walk in the countryside, people are tempted by ripe sloes hanging on a tree along a footpath, pick them and hurry home excitedly ready to make gin. For beginners, the beauty of making sloe gin is that you need almost no equipment apart from the bottles in which it will be stored. It also takes almost no time to prepare, although you do need to turn the bottles every few days to ensure that the sloe gin infuses properly. Before you head off to the countryside, make sure you have the right bottles for sloe gin to ensure a good infusion and a great-looking product at the end of the process.

Sloe gin bottles in a variety of sizesRayware sloe gin image

As your sloe gin will be stored on its side in a dark cupboard for a good two months, it is important to use a bottle that has a good, strong seal. Our bottles with swing top stoppers are ideal for sloe gin. Sloe gin flasks are a traditional choice and we offer them in a 500ml size; in addition, we offer a smaller Kilner version that holds 275ml. Most sloe gin recipes are based on making one litre of gin, so make sure you buy enough bottles to store all the gin you will produce!

In addition to the sloe gin flasks, many of our swing top bottles are suitable for sloe gin and other alcoholic infusions. If you are making it for yourself, or you are making a large quantity, you might prefer to use our 500ml or even one-litre bottles rather than the smaller-sized bottles.

Sloe gin bottles as gifts

As it will be ready in time for Christmas and makes such a deliciously warming winter drink, sloe gin is an ideal choice to give as a Christmas gift to friends and family. This is where the smaller sloe gin flasks come into their own – they are just the right size to give as a gift and a one-litre recipe will make a couple of bottles.

Topped off with a nice label, and perhaps a tie-on gift tag from our range, these vintage-inspired flasks and bottles will present your sloe gin as delightful homemade gifts that will be warmly received and appreciated.

With September in full swing, now is the time to head out on a hedgerow hunt, searching for those elusive sloes to turn into delicious gin. What are you waiting for?

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Pickled Broccoli stems

Wicker basket with green vegetables, fruits and herbs, vintage dark wood background, selective focus

**Recipe** Pickled broccoli stems

Most fruits and vegetables can be preserved one way or another, with varying degrees of success. We are all used to the standard pickled gherkins, beetroot, red cabbage and onions, but have you ever considered pickling broccoli – or more specifically, pickling broccoli stems? You will be surprised by how tasty they can be, given that broccoli stems are usually discarded in favour of the flowery ends.

Pickled broccoli stems

Stems from one broccoli bunch, peeled
1 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons each of salt and sugar
1 teaspoon pickling spices
1 bay leaf
Zest and juice of half a lemon

Cut the peeled broccoli stems into 2cm chunks and blanch in a pot of boiling water – you should be able to pierce them with a fork after two or three minutes. Refresh in cold water and drain.

Add the vinegar, salt and sugar, pickling spices, bay leaf, lemon zest and juice to a pan with the water and bring to the boil. Pour the pickling mixture over the broccoli stems and allow to cool, then refrigerate for four hours. Serve with cold meats and cheese.

You will be surprised how much you can do with broccoli stems besides pickling them; for example, they are also delicious sliced and fried until golden around the edges in a little oil, then sprinkled with salt. Here are two more ideas:

Broccoli stem slaw

6 broccoli stems, peeled
4 carrots, peeled
3 celery stalks
1 red onion
1 Granny Smith apple
Half a cup of cornichons
One and a half cups mayonnaise
Quarter of a cup Dijon mustard
Quarter of a cup cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slice the broccoli stems, carrots, celery stalks, onion, apple and cornichons into thin strips, julienne style. Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, cider vinegar, garlic and salt and pepper and stir into the vegetables. Allow to sit for about an hour before serving.

Broccoli stem soup

4 potatoes and 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 onion, peeled and sliced
One head of broccoli stems
Creme fraiche or soured cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the potatoes, carrots and onion in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the broccoli stems and continue to cook until tender. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool a little before using a hand blender to whizz the mixture into a smooth puree. Swirl a dollop of crème fraiche or soured cream into each bowl when serving.

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How To Make Sloe Gin

How to make sloe gin

Sloe-infused gin is a delicious winter treat – once you have made it for the first time, you will want to make it every year. Sloes are usually ready towards the end of September or early October and the gin is usually ready to drink by Christmas. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, this gin makes the perfect Christmas gift. Read on to find out just how easy it is to make sloe gin.

Sloe gin ingredients

You will need approximately 500g of sloes to make one litre of gin. It is rare to find these available for sale; therefore, you will need to find some blackthorn trees out in the countryside to source your crop of sloes. To tell whether the sloes are ripe, try pressing one between your thumb and finger – if it bursts easily, it is ready to be picked. Many people say that you should not pick sloes until after the first frosts; however, you can simulate this by popping them in the freezer overnight.

In addition to the sloes, you will need about 200g of caster sugar and one litre of gin. Again, there is much debate about whether you need to use expensive gin or whether the end result is much the same even with cheaper gins. Our suggestion is to experiment to find which works best for you.

Sloe gin method

Once you have picked your sloes, wash them carefully and put them in the freezer overnight. The next day, prick any that have not burst their skins in the freezer and half-fill sterilised bottles with them. Our flip-top bottles are perfect and help to make this gin a great-looking gift.

Next, pour the gin into the bottles. Add the sugar, flip down the lid and shake for a moment to mix everything up. Experimenting is the name of the game when it comes to how much sugar to add – add too much and the gin could taste too sweet. One good piece of advice is that you can always add a little extra sugar at the end of the two-month fermentation process once you have tasted it.

Once you have added the sugar and given the mixture a good shake, lay the bottle on its side in a dark cupboard, turning it every couple of days.

After a couple of months, your gin will be ready to drink.

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Fall fruits this early autumn

Fall fruits this early autumn

September heralds the start of autumn, with the days shortening noticeably and cooler temperatures becoming the norm. As we look around the vegetable garden, we can see that things are starting to slow down and crops are becoming thinner. All is not lost, however, as early autumn is an abundant time when it comes to fruit. Even if you don’t have any fruit trees or bushes in your garden, you can still enjoy nature’s fruit harvest. There are plenty of delicious wild fruits available in hedgerows just waiting to be picked, with many of the fruits available at this time of year perfect for preserving. It is definitely time to go out foraging for some autumn fruits.

Fall fruits for jams and jellies

The most common fruit available at this time of year is, of course, the blackberry. Readily available in hedgerows throughout the countryside, and often in towns and cities, the blackberry is a versatile free gift from Mother Nature. Make blackberry fool or blackberry Eton mess to enjoy them fresh; next, make blackberry and vanilla jam or blackberry jelly.

Apples also start to come into season at this time of year. Apples freeze well – if you have a glut, stock your freezer and enjoy apples throughout the year. Apple jam with cinnamon is a delicious wintery jam and, of course, apples team up perfectly with blackberries to make apple and blackberry jam. You can also make apple sauce and store it in Kilner jars to use with pork dishes through the winter.

If you don’t have your own apple tree, why not go foraging for crab apples to make crab apple jelly? Elderberries are also available in the hedgerows at this time of year and make the most delicious jelly to serve with cold meats and cheeses.

Fall fruits for drinks

If you fancy making something to drink rather than jams and jellies, there are several autumn fruits to choose from. Sloes are the obvious choice, of course, to make delicious sloe gin ready to enjoy at Christmas. For something a little different, try blackberry vodka – the technique is just the same as for sloe gin. If you have plenty of elderberries, you could make elderberry wine and elderberry jelly.

For a non-alcoholic drink, try mixing elderberries with blackberries to make a fabulous cordial. On a cold autumn day, this cordial is really warming when diluted with hot water.

Grab a basket, pick some autumn fruits and get preserving!

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What’s in season in September

in season in septemberWhat’s in season in September

Eating and cooking seasonally is one of the most satisfying things to do, as it brings the knowledge that you are working with nature and using only the very freshest ingredients. Whilst summer is just about over, there is still plenty of variety in the fruit and vegetable garden and plenty of choices when it comes to home preserving. Check out this September season guide for some great ideas on what to cook this month.

September in season fruit

When it comes to fruit, no one can fail to notice that blackberries are in season during September. One of nature’s best free gifts, blackberries are readily available in hedgerows, alongside footpaths and on the edges of woodland. The best thing about blackberries is that they are 100% free for everyone.

Blackberry and apple crumble is, of course, an absolute must. Once you have had your fill of crumble and are looking for some more ideas for blackberries, try some blackberry jam or infuse some gin with blackberries for a delicious Christmas tipple. Blackberries are great in muffins and chocolate brownies, which usually go down well with the whole family.

Apples are also starting to come into season and team perfectly with blackberries to form one of nature’s great marriages; on their own, try old-fashioned apple jelly or spiced apple preserve for something a little different.

September in season vegetables

Whilst the vegetable patch might be starting to look a little tired, there are still plenty of options throughout September. If your tomatoes have not ripened, why not use them in a green tomato chutney or make a sweet and savoury green tomato jam with balsamic vinegar?

Other vegetables at their best in September include courgettes, broad beans and several types of cabbage – all perfect for making pickles and chutneys. Try sauerkraut or pickled kimchee if you fancy being adventurous. If you have some marrows available, consider marrow jam – a delicious but less well-known home preserving idea. There are many recipes available for marrow jam, with the marrow paired with all sorts of other ingredients such as ginger, cardamom and even orange.

As you can see, there are still plenty of options for eating seasonally and for getting creative with your Maslin pan. We hope this September season guide will inspire you to get those jam jars and Mason jars out of the cupboard and fill them with tasty treats for the months ahead.

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