a busy domestic blog of knitting, sewing and all kinds of needlecrafts, cooking my garden produce and preserving it

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Saving for winter

We seem, rather happily, to be inundated with produce this year, well, some sorts of veg - beetroot, runner beans, apples and tomatoes mainly.

The beetroot and apples are stored where-ever I can find space - in boxes, baskets, bags - whatever I can find. The beans have had to go in the freezer as I can't think of any other way to store them but I'm trying to NOT put all the tomatoes in there. I'm rather paranoid about the possibility of the electricity being cut off due to snow or high wind and everything in the freezer turning to slush.

So, I'm trying out other methods of storing them.
It's a long while since I've had enough tomatoes to make passata making seem worthwhile but I'm on my third batch this year! The first didn't keep well - one jar started to turn mouldy, so the other is being kept in the fridge (not helpful if there's a power cut).
The second batch had olive oil floated over the passata before sealing and re-heating - maybe I shouldn't have re-heated as the oil just mixed in with the tomatoes!

I then decided to 'sun'dry some tomatoes - with the help of the top oven. I sliced them up, placed on baking paper on the grill and placed them in the unlit top oven while the bottom one was in use. I've used this method on apples but I left the tomatoes till they were much drier. The plum tomatoes with thicker sides and less pips seem to have worked better than the juicy steak tomatoes. They're all very leathery now and packed into a jar. They should be covered with oil but for now I'm seeing how well they will keep without it.
Today though, I'm back to making passata. Smaller jars, no oil on top and we'll see how well this batch keeps.

No comments:

Post a Comment