* tomato preserving

Posted on September 25th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Home and Garden.

It rained a couple of weekends ago for the first time in forever, and all of my Siletz tomatoes promptly split.  I decided to can some of them, using a slicing tomato salsa recipe safe for hot water bath canning from PNW0395.  I don’t think I appreciated the landgrant universities enough before I started gardening and such.  They provide such a wealth of science-based, accurate, reliable, practical information.  Especially with canning, there seem to be tons of recipes on the internet that don’t follow best practices and could be dangerous.  Unfortunately, the part that makes this particular recipe safe (lots of vinegar) also makes it not super tasty.  The tomatoes kind of disintegrated from all the cooking too.  Next time I open a jar, I will probably mix it with some fresh tomatoes to cut the tartness a bit and add some texture.

A few days later, I had a ton of my Sugarlump and Yellow Pear cherry tomatoes ripen all at once.  There are recipes if you need one, but it was pretty much 1. slice tomatoes in half, 2. place cut side up on baking sheet, 3. put in 210F oven for a few hours, 4. eat one every once in a while to see if they’re done.  I didn’t use any oil or seasonings or anything.  The convection setting seemed to be helpful in drying them out faster.


Then this weekend, I noticed that the funny tails on my striped romans were all getting soft.  I am pretty sure this is because I didn’t stake them (whoops).  They are a paste tomato, so I finally got to make tomato jam!  This stuff seems to be everywhere lately; I’ve had it on biscuits, instead of ketchup on a burger, with a cheese plate.  I wanted a spicy one, so I tried this tomato preserves recipe that has jalapeno.  It also gave me an excuse to use the pathetic few leaves of purple basil that I managed to grow this summer.  Licking the spoon at the end indicates that it turned out pretty good, despite practically ruining it at the end.  Beware: during the reduction, it seems like nothing much happens for a long time and then bam, it’s thickened and about to burn.


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