Headline »

November 1, 2016 – 7:58 am |

Happyzine has been sold! More information soon …
Ever thought about running a good news website? Here’s your chance.
Happyzine.co.nz has been a force for the positive for the last nine years in New Zealand, sharing good …

Read the full story »
Business
Community
Environment
Blog
Youth
Home » Food

The Good Old Days – In a Jar!

Submitted by on February 3, 2011 – 10:51 pm 10 Comments

By Kara Whaley

We use a lot of tomatoes! Canned, fresh, I’m not fussy – they are delicious. And so, when I stumbled upon a table laden with very cheap, perfectly ripe, fresh tomatoes at the big shop, I quickly began loading them into my trolley. Giddy with the excitement that one can only gain from the thought of buying tom’s at $1.00/kilo, I hurtled through shopping, and skipped out of the shop, half waiting for a strong arm to grab me at anytime, and an authoritative voice to loudly bellow “Excuse me lady, you’ve practically STOLEN those tomatoes, please step this way”. Once in the car I started interogating the husband about the fate of our booty. Of course, upon arriving home, I realised I didn’t have any of the ingrediants required to make anything relishy, or chutney-esque. But! I did have a large collection of preserving jars!

Because we’ve always adored pasta, I have done my part in keeping the pasta-sauce market bouyant. The only thing I have asked for in return, aside from the sauce, is the jar that it has come in. Mainly because I also got a free lid. And so, it was with great excitement that I hauled 6 jars, and lids, out of my preserving jar collection. Thanks to the reassuring guidance of Google and The Edmonds Cookbook, I figured out how to sterilise the jars and preserve the tomatoes!

The next shopping day couldn’t come around soon enough! This week, I was going to knock the socks right off those tomatoes. Sure enough, there were the cheap tomatoes again. Confidence bolstered by the fact that noone had tracked me down using camera footage and licence plate tracking, I brazenly loaded the cheap tom’s into my trolley, grabbed a few spices and vinegar, and headed home to make a lovely spicy Tomato Sauce!
The Sauce is on the left, the tom’s on the right.

So, here’s the guff on preserving tomatoes. They are low acid. This means they need a preserving agent to keep them safe in the jar. Trust me, nothing is going to put a low on your posh dinner party like an outbreak of botulism. Especially if you’ve just finished regaling everyone with your preserving antics. They all know where it’s come from.

And so, the preserving agent needn’t be the terrifying things we imagine them to be ie. Preserving agent 115 : warning – may cause oozing. For the jarred tomatoes, I simply boiled them and then added citric acid to each jar. The solids and fluids have seperated in the jar, this is normal. Big factories flash heat their tom’s and this causes the fruit cells to stay intact. Done slowly in a pot, the cells have the chance to break down and the layered effect occurs. For the spicy sauce, the vinegar is the preserving agent. It also does us the big favour of being delicious.

Recipe:

3.5kg Tom’s – in fact, I used about 7kg and then sloshed in a bit more vinegar. I don’t think you can overdo the vinegar, too little vinegar is when you would get preserving issues.

1kg Apples – oddly, once you know they’re in there, you can taste them. They round out the flavour.

6 Onions – you can never have enough onion. In my opinion.

3 Cups Sugar

4 Cups Malt Vinegar

2 Tbsp Salt

1/2-1 tsp Cayenne Pepper – I used straight chilli peppers, and I used the amount as more of a guideline. I ended up adding about 6 chillies because I love the heat. Taste the stuff while it’s cooking, if it’s not hot enough, throw in some more. If it’s too hot, you’ve just prepared your xmas gifts for dear friends and rellies!

1 tsp Peppercorns – which I didn’t have so I used straight pepper.

1 tsp whole Allspice – I only had ground, but I figure, it’s the flavour I’m after.

2 tsp whole Cloves – Once again, I used ground. I should mention, that right about here I started to embellish and with all due respect to Mr Edmonds and the cookbook crew, I deviated from the recipe and began adding wee shakes of tumeric and generous pinches of cumin.

Throw it all in a pot, boil for about 2 hours. You can sieve it, I didn’t, as I prefer that hearty, chunky style sauce. Bottle it in your sterilised jars. I have a sneaking suspicion that the longer I can leave this stuff, the better it may taste.

Because I’m not a patient creature, I recently neglected all my store bought sauce and busted open a jar of the tom’s to use – they were wonderful. If you have invested in the pasta sauce sector, my advice – sell, sell, sell!

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
The Good Old Days - In a Jar! , 3.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

Tags: ,

10 Comments »

  • David Laing says:

    What a wonderfully written and witty article! I’m looking forward to reading more of your work.

    Thanks
    David

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Nicky says:

    Aewome job Kara!! The article is fast-paced, fun and SO Kara! Well done 🙂

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • karawhaley says:

    Thanks for checking it out Nicky! The ‘research’ was certainly a bonus! Mmmmmmmmmmm!!!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • karawhaley says:

    Hi David! Thanks for the kind comments! It sure was a fun way to spend an afternoon!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Sharron says:

    Really great. keep it up you have a talent

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • NickyB says:

    Yum, all sounds delicious – thanks for the inspiration! Do you reckon it would be ok to use less sugar in the sauce? I’m trying to eat less of it….guess I could just experiment!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • karawhaley says:

    Thanks Sharron!

    Hi Nicky B. A friend of mine was preserving one day and she said she only used half the sugar stated in the sugar – quite a cut huh. I’m confident the sugar only adds to the flavour in this recipe, I’m with you on the experimenting idea!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • NickyB says:

    Great – went to the pick-your-own tomatoes in Otaki this weekend and got some delicious sun ripened beefsteak toms….so ready to bottle this week! Yum.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • karawhaley says:

    Hey Nicky! My next plan is to enter negotiations with some mates – maybe some beans for some tomatoes???

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Rosie Dunn says:

    Hi Kara
    Good to her there are other people around here preserving. We’ve got tomatoes coming out of our ears at the moment and I’ve been flat out bottling, sauce and chutney. I think it must be a good year this year or cos Ron planted 40 odd plants!
    It’s so satisfying seeing it all lined up in the cupboard and know it didn’t cost much, just a bit of time.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also Comments Feed via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.