Saturday, September 06, 2014
At the end of the garden season there are lots of "not so nice" tomatoes being brought into the house. Not nice enough to slice for Caprese Salad or a tomato sandwich. But good enough for tomato soup and tomato jam.
I have been roasting the cherry tomatoes for winter sauces ( a sheet pan to hold washed cherry tomatoes, a few gluts of olive oil and roast at 425 until most of the tomatoes have a black or brown roasted look--- then cool and scoop into freezer bags--any extra liquid should be saved to make rice or soup) and I did one roasted tomato/onion, garlic clove batch which became dinner. But my favorite use for the tomatoes with blemishes, rotten spots and general blah looks is tomato jam.
5# of tomato "parts" rough chopped (approximate)
one onion, chopped
½ cup brown sugar
1.5 cups white sugar (use less if feels right to you--it is a jam)
1 teas. salt
1 teas ground cinnamon
¼ teas ground cloves
¼ teas ground cumin (actually use the spices you like in ketchup--add grated ginger if you like it)
½ cup apple cider vinegar (you could also squeeze in a lemon)
Bring to a gentle boil, turn to a simmer and let go on the back burner for about 4 hours.
I pile everything (and don't measure) in my big All Clad 4 quart saucepan. To the top.
When it cooks down to the bottom quarter of the pan--it's done. Usually thick, dark and shiny.
This can be water bath canned for 15 minutes (with canning lids etc) for longer storage.
Trust me on this, the first time you make it you will eat it ALL in a few days.
This is good (excellent) used in any way you used ketchup. With fries, on a burger etc. Or just on a spoon. Grilled cheese?
I brought in more green peppers that have 30% or more red on them to ripen (all red) on the kitchen counter. I packed the red peppers in the freezer into bags and filled the tray again with more red pepper strips. I like them in a morning frittata for breakfast.
I have decided to solve my freezer storage space dilemma by only having fruits and vegetables in the freezer. So, I would be buying meat on an as needed basis instead of storing it in the freezer for a couple years and then tossing it. Best to be honest about what actually happens in the freezer.
I eat all the fruit (other than blueberries) pretty quickly in my yogurt lunches. Peppers go quickly in chili and frittatas. The tomatoes get used up faster than I like for pasta sauces and soup. Frozen rolls of parsley leaves get used up also.
I pretty much eat the zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers as they are picked. Those zucchini fritters are my new best friend. And the frozen ratatouille is delicious and low calorie with exactly 4 ounces of dry measure pasta. I am doing a very good good of using what I grow. And what is wasted goes into the compost bucket.
I made some salsa this afternoon with my tomatoes, my onion and my jalapeños. The jalapeños had no heat. So that was a disappointment. Anyone know why that would happen. The July ones were hot.
G and I finished off the five seasons of Damages last night (after midnight). Now we have to find something new to watch when regular television is boring. We have also been watching the tennis, which is being rained out as I type. Rain is coming to Maine as well. I have a good book to read by one of my favorite authors Robotham.
Got to turn on some lights. The sky is darkening. And I have to check on the tomato jam and give it a stir. It's very watery today so will need a bit longer on the stove. Stay dry!!!