Sunday, October 05, 2008


It's all about tomatoes this week. Friday, I cleaned the tomato seeds that I had been fermenting since Sunday and put them in the Excalibur on the lowest setting to dry them up.

Both James & I picked as many ripe tomatoes as we could from our gardens at the end of the week. I even pulled up four tomato plants that were done (three were volunteer cherries).

Saturday, I spent the day doing housework and cleaning. I even had a pair of housekeepers come in to help out while I labeled, inventoried and organized all my jars of preserves and boxes of wine from Dry Creek & Anderson Valley.

Saturday night, James and I set 9 trays of tomatoes to dry in the Excalibur. For those of you who dehydrate, that results in about 3 half pint jars of dried cherry tomatoes (ha!). We dried some bigger tomatoes but I need to cut those into strips and dry them a bit more. We also got started with the yellow tomato sauce and then put it away to finish on Sunday.

Today, we dilly-dallied a bit, had chai & backgammon, went to his house, then to brunch and on errands. We had a nap and then finally started on making the tomato sauce around 6pm. James worked his buns off with me for 4 hours. I have been waiting for the sauce to cook down and processing the jars for the last two hours. Here's the result:


Dried tomatoes:
3 - 8 oz jars of dried cherry tomatoes from Jenn's garden

Yellow tomato sauce:
2 - 16 oz jars (both gardens, more Jenn's due to Wonderlights)

Orange tomato sauce:
9 - 12 oz jars (both gardens, mostly James due to enormous Hawaiian Pineapples)

Red tomato sauce:
12 - 16 oz jars (both gardens)

This probably isn't the last batch of sauce for us. There are still a lot of tomatoes on both our plants. I cut down dead parts and removed branches from a few plants that had no more fruit or flowers -- I need to do that again on Tuesday or Wednesday this week to help the plants mature the rest of the fruit.

I do want to make more dried tomatoes, too. We both have a lot of basil that is about to flower, so we need to make up more batches of pesto. I think I may just make oregano-thyme-basil-garlic-oil pesto to freeze -- no pine nuts -- so that I can use it to season my tomato sauce when I open it this winter.

FIGS: Asiya from Forage Oakland brought me a couple dozen figs - so I am going to make another small batch of fig preserves.

RHUBARB & RASPBERRIES: Probably the last of the season. I bought these at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market on Tuesday and intended to make a big crisp but was totally off track. I may just freeze up the raspberries on a cookie sheet and make rhubarb pie or crisp later this week.

No comments: