Perfectly preserved

I've been making my own apricot jam for many years from a recipe handed down from my great grandmother. It's a family tradition now and my son is the chief rum taster (a more than good slurp of Bundy is our secret ingredient).

But several other attempts at preserving have been disasters – passionfruit jam that nobody liked, orange marmalade that wouldn't set... there are more that have been conveniently forgotten.

So I can see the advantage of Taste's new monthly workshops on preserving where they are planning to cover everything from mandarin marmalade to coriander pesto.

Taste preservation expert Suzanne Combes says its a good way to cut costs and get creative in the kitchen when times are tough. Instead of a paying for overpriced cooking ingredients you can easily make many in your own home for a fraction of the cost.

“People love cooking with dried foods, exotic jams, flavoured vinegars, oils, pickles and cheeses, but buying these from up-market delis or even farmers markets can become expensive, especially when they are so easy to make yourself,” she said.

I'm so there Suzanne - my shelves have an overseas holiday's worth of preserves!

Not only is making them yourself cheaper, you'll also avoid nasty things like MSG, starchy thickeners, salt and excessive sugar.

So if you want to learn how to make Indian Spicy Carrot Chutney or Mediterranean Pickled Lemons and many others head to Taste’s in store preservation demonstrations on the last Saturday of every month from July to November. Best of all, it's free.

11am – 12noon at Taste, 3 Montpelier Rd, Fortitude Valley.