Friday, August 26, 2011

lemon and ginger syrup

Well, it's been a few weeks since I've been here, and I've missed it! We had a break last week and then this week I've had the classic winter cold that has left me feeling a bit worse for wear- hopefully nearing the end now though. Anyway, I came across this inspiring blog the other day full of recipes and other lovely things so I decided to have a go at making the lemon and ginger syrup (I am loving fresh ginger at the moment!) It was nice and easy to make, tastes delicious and my little ones loved it too.
I found the bottles from Briscoes and used these cute labels from Mixing Ink (they were featured in the latest Homestyle magazine).
This would be a lovely gift with a cute mug wouldn't it :)
I'm new to the whole preserving thing so I've got a question about sterilising jars and bottles. I found these instructions for sterilising but was surprised with how much you have to do to sterilise a bottle! I would have thought that cleaning them and putting them in the pot of boiling water was enough. Does anyone know a quicker way to sterilise or have any other tips?

And if you've got a cold at the moment too Wendyl Nissen has some great tips in her latest newsletter and on her website- I like the idea of a hot bath with some essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint!

Have a great weekend!
Megan x


Felicity said...

Simply scrummy!
I'll be popping back to see if anyone gives you a simple sterilising tip. as it's the one thing that has stopped me from doing anything like this in the past.

Just a thought - if you're a Mummy how would you sterilise a baby's bottle?

Happy day Lovely!

xx Felicity

Megan said...

Hi Felicity, haven't had to worry about sterilising baby bottles as my 2nd and 3rd babies didn't have any bottles in the first 3 months I think it is when you have to sterilise bottles. I used a microwave steriliser for my first baby which was great but wouldn't be big enough if I was wanting to get into using large jars for sauces or preserves. Hopefully will get some tips!

Flower said...

I Megan, I aways just wash my jars & bottles, then pop them in the oven at 100 C while I'm brewing up my goods, I take them out with a pair of tings pop them on the bench, fill up with my hot mix of what ever I'm making and If I need jar lids I pop them in a pot and boil while the 'stuff' is cooking so they are hot when I put them on the jars. It's much easier than you think and once you have a little routine going on you can have a batch of goodies whipped up & bottled in no time. If you lucky enough to have a dish washer, just wash them in there and they are hot enough to use when the cycle is done. xxx

Karlene said...

These look gorgeous. The labels just give the finishing touch too. Funny that you mention the oils Wendyl spoke of...I tried it last night for my kids who have colds at the moment. I had the lavendar and eucalyptus on hand but not the pepermint - still smelt devine though :-) I'm going to do it everytime they have colds now; it'll become one of those smells that when they are older they'll remember from their childhood. x

Anonymous said...

Hi Megan, thanks for the shoutout!

Those linked instructions are pretty complicated! I'll watch out for what other commenters say, but personally ...

Using sterilised bottles means that the content will keep well until the jar or bottle is opened. So if you're just planning on making a bottle of this to keep in your fridge and use at home over the next couple of weeks, don't get too hung up on it! Just using a very clean, dry bottle should be fine.

If you're giving bottles as a gift, this would be what I'd do with the bottles like those in your picture:

- Preheat the oven to about 120 (C). Take the metal/plastic cap off the bottle and wash both bottle and cap in hot soapy water, then rinse with just hot water. Put the bottle in the oven and keep it in there for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, get a pot of water boiling on the stove and pop the lid in there. I have to say I've never done this with the plastic caps on this kind of bottle so have no idea if they survive boiling! Probably only needs to boil for 5 mins, then take it out and dry carefully.
- After your 20 minutes, take the bottles out of the oven, and let them cool a little since the syrup will be cold (and you don't want to crack the bottle!). Fill them up and seal with the dry cap.

It's the same process with jars for jams or preserves - jars in the oven and lids in the pot!

Hope this helps. Sorry for such a long comment - I should do a post on this with photos! Will add it to the list. Cheers again

BigLittle said...

Hi Megan, This looks great and what wonderful labels! As for sterilising, I usually put them through the dishwasher, and while still hot put them into the oven... xx

Hootnz said...

Yum that syrup does sound refreshing! I love labels, such a nice touch.

As for sterilising.... I agree with all above, wash and pop into the oven.... it has always worked for us, and is exactly what mike mum does, and she's been bottling and preserving for years :)

Craftysquirrel said...

I've used dishwasher and then oven method too and in the past pre dishwasher did a hot soapy wash then the oven, provided you leave in oven 20 min or should kill most bugs. I've never had problems with preserves going off . My sister makes jam and freezes in a clean ice cream container just scooping out what they need into the jam dish as they need it. Nice and easy if you are going to use over next 6 months or so.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

The syrup sounds delightful. I've heard that if you make something and are going to use it pretty quickly, then you don't need to worry so much about the sterilizing. I've never preserved or canned in the past because they make it sound like such a task -- I think folks are a bit phobic these days about such things anyways. I'm sure the boiling or heating process is more than enough to ensure its sterilized. Thanks for sharing the links. Hope your day is great. Tammy

Max said...

Your bottles with their stickers look absolutely lovely! We make elderflower cordial each year and I usually stick it in pump bottles and freeze. I'm going to up my game attractive presentation-wise now (the bunting stickers, too cute!).
I boil for 10 mins and then dry in a hot oven to steralize for pickles and jam x

sara said...

Your labels are so summery, love the sound of that syrup, ginger is one of my favourite flavours.

I always wash bottles/jars really well in hot soapy water then set them on some folded newspaper in the oven on a low heat for about 10 mins and boil the metal caps for 10 mins too ......never had any problems so thinking it must work.


Anonymous said...

hope you're feeling better now - the bottled syrup looks amazing, those labels are super-cute x

Leonie said...

Hi Megan,
Gorgeous bottles, labels and great gift idea!
I came across the following last night searching for recipes from Annabel Langbein's Best Of Recipe book:
"Preserving know-how: Glass jars with reusable pop-top lids are ideal for preserving as long as they are clean and have been sterilised. To do this, wash jars thoroughly and place them in a 100'C oven for 10 minutes. Remove with an oven mitt to fill with hot preserves. Alternatively, microwave wet jars one at a time for 1 minuet. Fill jars with boiling preserves, and their liquids, using boiling water or syrup to overflow the jars for the last 1cm so that a clean seal can be made."
Hope that helps along with all the other advice you've received!

Beertje Zonn said...

What a lovely labels!

Thamks for the link
Beertje Zonn

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