Wholefood Cooking

Peach Shrub + Poole China

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“What on earth is Jude talking about” ? I hear you ask… well a shrub is kinda like an old fashioned cordial, only it’s vinegar based (which preserves it). I love them, and last Christmas I started trying them out and feel pretty confident to tell you how I did it. It’s going to take about 2 weeks, so perfectly in time for Christmas. I just picked up those babies above the other day on my way home… seconds.

The Poole china…well, this year Christmas will be in my new home, with all the family coming. I’m setting the table (part of it will be a trestle table) and I thought to myself, I would love, love to use Mum’s glorious green Poole china. I warn you I may shed a tear as I write this, i’m a bit emotional at the moment… the stopping after a huge and massive year, and it doesn’t take much to get me crying. Mum is 96 and still lives at home, independently, still cooking but absolutely not as capable as she once was. She is at the pointy end of the stick in life, and wanting to move things out of the home to people. The Poole china was to go to me, and I asked mum the other day if I could use it for Christmas. Well, this week I packed it into boxes with mum watching and bought it home. “Check if there is anything else in the cupboard” she said, so i did, and there was – beautiful Kosta Boda glass bowls, stunning glass bowl… “take them too”. My mum has never had a lot, but what she had was beautiful – she has spectacular taste. And here was I packing them to leave her home forever, she was passing this onto me, preparing to know that this part of her life, and indeed her life was coming to it’s close. My mum has always been there for me, when i hated her, yelled at her, left her, she has loved and supported me no matter what. What value of a mother ? It’s everything. So that’s the Poole china. This Christmas, no matter where you mum is, give thanks to her for without our mums, who would we be?

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So recipe below… it’s super easy and I hope you enjoy it. I haven’t given you a finished photo of the shrub because mine is still in the making, but if you look around the internet you will see them – THIS pic is gorgeous and will give you the idea.  What I also do, when the shrub is finished is use the discarded peach (all sweet and vinegared up) to make peach chutney. Now, if you are looking for more Christmas ideas (like Marshmallow, Gingerbread House and goodness knows what, you can find them HERE. OR, you can just go to the blog and hit Christmas and have a look through.

May your days be merry and bright as we lead into this most special time of the year…

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Peach Shrub

Ingredients

1 kg (ish) peaches - I used 1.300kg
1 3/4 cup golden castor sugar
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar + more to taste if desired

What you will find if you look around the internet is that the amount of sugar and vinegar vary enormously, as does the issue of when the vinegar goes in. It’s the perfect place to use seconds, or less than perfect fruit.Serve with sparkling mineral or soda water. This is how I do mine…

Directions

Wash the peaches, and if there are any bruised spots cut them out. Roughly chop the peaches (skin on is fine) discarding the stone and place into a scrupulously clean jar. Add the sugar and stir it through, making sure the fruit sits under the liquid. Put the lid on and leave to macerate for 4 – 5 days IN THE FRIDGE before you add the vinegar. Place lid back on and leave to macerate for another 4 -5 days, in the fridge. I taste mine at this point, and adjust the vinegar if needed.

Strain the whole mix – the liquid in the bowl is the cordial. Pour this into another scrupulously clean and dry bottle and store in the fridge for up to 4 months.

As noted above I use the left over peach to make chutney.

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