Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Not Sewing

I haven't been sewing, at least not much. It seems like summer finished up in a hurry around here and in our house that means a lot of preserving. I tried making salsa for the first time this year, and although it is good it's a bit runny and my recipe needs a bit of fine tuning before we turn out 5 more quarts again. When we finished the last batch of salsa I was done looking at tomatoes. We had a good summer for them with all of our heat and there were beautiful herilooms left at the farmers market, but I was done. Done that is until a 8 quart box showed up on by door step.

They were beautiful and plum and sweet, and I almost cried because I knew that since we couldn't eat 8 quarts of tomatoes in the next couple of days that it meant I needed to pull back out the canner. Most of the ones in the box were cherry tomatoes and after scouring a few cookbooks and blogs I finally decided on a recipe out of The River Cottage Preserves Handbook. This is a new book to me, C got it for my birthday and I really like some of the unique recipes. So I made roasted tomato passata. The prep is easy enough, half (or quarter) the tomatos, thinly slice some shallots and garlic toss it all with olive oil and some seasoning and roast in the oven.

Then I scraped everything off of the cookie sheet and threw it in to the food processor. I think the recipe called for a food mill which would have been better since you could have removed the skins but we couldn't find ours. After it was pureed I brought it back up to boiling in a saucepan and then canned it. All said and done it made a total of about 6 pints.

I've thrown it in a couple of dinners already, pretty much subsituting it in for a bit of tomato sauce or paste. In a bind we could probably make a quick tomato cream sauce for dinner out of it.

We've put up 5 4oz jars of fig preserves too, which I use in place of jam or jelly on toast. Although apple seasons is just about hitting it's stride it's debatable whether we're going to do apple sauce or not. The apple crop around central NY was hit pretty hard in the spring with the wacky weather and the prices are reflecting that. Might just be easier to go without for a year. Plus, do I really want to pull out the canner again?

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