Monday, September 3, 2012

A quick tomato update

My tomato chopping workstation.
Two things for this short post…

This weekend we did up another bushel (14.5 liters) of chopped tomatoes, this time all San Marzanos. Since only Vicki and I were working, it made for a rather long day. Now we have our year’s stock of chopped and we’re happy campers. It was Labor Day weekend, so we labored.

Today, we wanted to do a quick run at sauce, so another bushel of SMs was picked up at Zito’s. I still have trouble believing in our luck to have a source of these rather hard-to-find beauties only two blocks from our house. Lucky us!

We got out our electric tomato grinder (expensive, but a very worthwhile purchase last year), did a quick check of it (lubrication needed) and it didn’t take long to get set up since we left a number of things out from yesterday. With Vicki and me washing, lopping off the tops and cutting out any bad spots, and Karel boiling the tomatoes to loosen the skins, and running the grinder, it took us just a tad over an hour to go through the whole thing: 20.25 liters – not bad!

Getting the sauce up to a boil and into jars took us another hour. Clean-up was a half-hour. A much shorter day and a good thing since I have to play with The Advocats tonight.

I don’t think we could have asked for two better days on which to work in the Blechta Test Kitchens Outdoor area. Both days were warm, but we had nice breezes and there’s something about doing this sort of work in the great outdoors, hence my personal pleasure in putting up food for the long winter months.

Next week is the large tomato gathering, an annual affair, with several friends and probably about 6-8 more bushels of tomatoes to turn into sauce.

Second thing I want to tell you is that Wednesday will see A Man for All Seasonings first guest blogger, my good friend and fellow crime novelist, Vicki Delany who will be reporting on an amazing event very close to where she lives in Prince Edward County in Eastern Ontario. Ever think you’d get to see 350 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes in one place? You will on Wednesday. We’ve got the coverage and we’ve got the photos!

Be sure to drop by.

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