Pickles, jams and chutneys star in Emma Galloway’s celebration of autumn produce.
I come from a long line of preservers. Like many nanas around the world, mine spent her days gardening and preserving her bounty in all manner of jams, chutneys, sauces and pickles that lined her pantry shelves year-round. My siblings and I grew up on an organic vegetable farm where preserving was not only how my mum kept our food bills down, but also how she dealt with the glut of fruit and vegetables every season so they didn’t go to waste. It was also one of the ways she injected more flavour into our lives. We all looked forward to the yearly batch of spicy homemade tomato sauce, and revelled in the Agee jar-lined shelves of our washhouse. Here, among other preserves, my mum would store the infamous bottled feijoas that graced our breakfast bowls in the gap between seasons, when fresh was not an option. While not many people make their own preserves out of necessity anymore, I think we can all agree on the deliciousness they bring to our diets. Sometimes all it takes is a dollop of chutney on the side of a bowl of curry or daubed onto a sandwich, that spoonful of jam on top of a cream cheese-smeared bagel, or those thinly sliced pickled mushrooms tossed through a simple salad, to take something from yum… to amazing.