Friday, 26 July 2013

Ah labels!

I have just bottled (or jar-red?) a second batch of marmalade. This is the batch that the Senior Cat will take as part of the contribution to a fete being held at his church a little later in the year.  
Another member of the church provided me with the jars. They were small. They were very clean inside. Most of them had useful lids. They were, in short, very useful jars.
They also had labels. There were jam labels, "Three Fruit" marmalade labels, "tomato, basil and tuna" spread labels, olive labels, "spreadable fruit" labels, tomato paste labels. Hmmm...when you are making "Seville Orange" marmalade you do not want it to be labelled anything else but - well, "Seville Orange".
I soaked the offending labels in hot water. I even managed to pull some of each label off. There were still bits of label stuck to the surface. There were green bits, red bits, silver and black bits. There were white sticky bits.
The Senior Cat prowled in. He took over from me while I weighed out the sugar and added it to the bubbling pale yellow-orange mixture in the pan. The Senior Cat scrubbed - and scrubbed. Eventually the jars were clean and ready to use. The bubbling mixture looked about right. I tested it. Yes.
I bottled the marmalade.
The ingredients are simple. The marmalade is just oranges, water and sugar. There were more ingredients than that on the labels of the "Three Fruit" marmalade - and it was not just the addition of two more varieties of citrus fruit. I did not read the label on the jars that had originally held jam and the "spreadable fruit" still has me puzzled. I do not want to know what is in the "Tomato, basil and tuna" spread. It will be a good deal more than those three ingredients and basil gives me a headache anyway.
Oh yes, labels. We need them. We need to know what is in the food we eat. They need to be there in case you or someone you plan to feed is allergic to something. Labelling is sensible. Of course it also advertises. Yes, I know that. There are brands that are instantly recognisable right around the world - like a certain soft-drink.
But, what I really want to know is this - what brand of glue do they use to stick the labels on with?


Jan said...

I've just done my share of scrubbing labels too. Eucalyptus oil helps as does WD-40. Still need washing but the glue usually comes off.

I've made several batches of beetroot chutney this year and some homemade tomato sauce made in an effort to recapture what I remember of the sauce my grandmother made. I haven't reached there yet. What I did was good, but not quite what I was remembering.

Anonymous said...

If eucalyptus oil fails, try tea tree oil. Usually one or the other works.

I wonder why bought jams and pickles have to be stored in the fridge after opening, in spite of all the added (magic?) ingredients. Old-fashioned jam and pickles don't.

I'm trying to find a recipe for my grandmother's sultana biscuits since we had something similar in a B&B in England where the owner would not divulge his recipe. Four, sugar, golden syrup, butter, baking powder, sultanas? My grandmother (long dead) was never good at passing on recipes, as her measurement were of the 'handful of this, pinch of that, enough of the other to bind it together' type. I'm looking through old recipe books hopefully.


jeanfromcornwall said...

I was going to offer WD40 as the remover solution.
Nowadays, jams and pickles contain a smaller proportion of sugar and vinegar respectively - so less of the preserver in them. That's why they last better with refrigeration once opened.

catdownunder said...

Ah, thankyou all - the jars were duly scrubbed clean and used. It is a lovely colour and it has set perfectly...even if I do say so myself! :)