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Is this shaping up to be the best Christmas ever or not?  Definitely yes

A friend of a friend was giving away their (obviously) 1970’s Fowlers Vacola bottling outfit, complete with bottles, thermometer, lids and seals.  How wonderful was it that they scored it thinking that I would want it and YES absolutely I want it.

Aside from the attractive burnt orange d├ęcor, it is a stovetop model, not electric element controlled.  Which means that it can be used even in the event of a lack of power.  It is a slightly different set up from the little vacola model which is sold in hardware stores, doesn’t have any temperature control and is only suitable for preserving fruit in sugar syrup.  It uses slightly less water.

And the super score of the whole thing, a ’70’s issue vacola instruction book which tells me all about preserving lots of things that the food safety laws say I’m not allowed to preserve now.  It is a great addition to my 1950’s vacola book that a wonderful colleague copied and sent to me a couple of years ago.

I would like to point out to the man in the hardware shop that a vacola kit is NOTHING at all like a vergola shade system.  I need to tell you this due to the fact that you tried to send me down the road to the vergola people.  But don’t worry – I just drove to another hardware shop and bought one from the lady who had a faint idea what I was on about.

Apparently there are lots of bottling systems available to preserve food, for instance the English mason jars.  But they all need replaceable rubber seals and I tend to favour the Australian vacola most because you can often pick up the bottles at garage sales and in the op shops.  The old bottles are fantastic because they were made in lots of different shapes and sizes.  I believe more variety than exists today but I’m happy to be corrected on that.

Now off to think about what I can put in bottles with my new improved recipe book.  And loads of thanks to Pete and Prue for remembering that I’m just a mass of hobbies and passions.