Inspired by the new people we have met and exposed to a more traditional mindset of preserving fresh fruits and vegetables that are abundant at one time of year i.e. summer and autumn so that they can be eaten all year round. It feels much more natural and in line with the seasons to enjoy foods fresh when they are ripe on the tree and to stop the excess spoiling and going to waste by preserving it for leaner times. One method is to stew and store in sterlised jars (sometimes referred to as 'canning). So we wanted to have a go at preserving some of the beautiful tomatoes that are ripe and ready so that we too might enjoy some this winter. As we are travelling in a motorhome it's not practical to "get ready for winter" and preserve enough supplies to see us through but we wanted to have a go and learn from the experience. We had a lot of fun trying and this is a photo record of our first attempt. It is intend for us as our diary and not in any way a guide to tomato sauce preservation. Please consult a more comprehensive source for that. Here's how we got on.......
Step 1: Harvest some tasty tomatoes.
Step 2: Clean and sort tomatoes into 'good'- for eating now, 'medium'- for sauce making and 'bad' - to feed to the chickens.
Step 3: Chop up 'medium' tomatoes, removing any bad bits, into a pan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 60-90 mins.
Step 4: Bring another large pan of water to the boil and immerse the clean jars and lids in the water for about 5-10mins. Then carefully remove the sterilised jars from the boiling water, being careful not to touch any surface the food will be in contact with.
Step 5: Add 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed organic lemon juice into the sauce.
Step 6: Ladle sauce into sterilised jars (we used a metal ladle that we'd also sterilised in boiling water before using):
Step 6: Screw on lids and then careful place the sealed jars back into the boiling pan for 20 mins:
Step 7: Voila... Tomato Sauce! Our first winter preserving! (other than dehydrating soups for thru-hiking).
1) We were very grateful to our host for use of the tomatoes, the jars and the kitchen to have this first experience at preserving!
2) As it's our first attempt we are definitely going to reheat well and bring to back to boil before we use it. However the website we followed reckoned that you can keep it for up to a year.
3) We'd like to say once again that this is a record of our own first attempt for our diary and in no way meant to be a comprehensive guide to making tomato sauce and safe food preservation. Please consult a more comprehensive information resource if you want to make preserves.