An urban micro farm experiment. Adventures in trying to live a simple life.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I can't eat all of them.

With most gardens, things tend to ripen in groups. Even with tomato plants that look like they are half dead, there are still enough that are ready to be eaten all at the same time. I like to freeze some small Roma tomatoes, dry some cherry tomatoes and make jam with any others that don't fall into either of those categories which are the Celebrity, Chocolate Cherry and Roma tomatoes. I save the big Brandywines for sandwiches.

Here is 8 pounds of assorted tomatoes for jam.

A pot full.

Believe it or not, this has to be cooked down to a thick consistency without lumps. Last year, I followed the recipe and used a food processor but it was very messy and it got me to the goal no sooner. So I just start mashing them with my hands right after I blanche them and remove the skins and then use a hand potato masher while cooking them down.

Eventually, it starts to come together.

But it has lots of cooking to do to get to this point. You should really cook it down to about half of the original height in the pot. Hours of steamy stirring. I usually get a back ache and my feet are sore. At some point, when I'm nearly at the end, I have a cocktail.

After hours of prep time, I end up with between 4 and 6 half-pint jars of great tomato jam that is very good with a crusty bread, good cheese and hey, herring on the side isn't half-bad either!

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