Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Small batches

This time of year I tend to find myself with batches of vegetables, too small to make the effort for serious canning but too many to eat fresh. I handle those with small batch processes.

Last year at this time I told you about hot pepper fig jam, made one jar at a time in my bread machine. This year I seem to be working with tomatoes, always just a few from 4 or 5 different plants. Luckily they are easy to save.

I bring a pot of water to a boil, and drop the tomatoes in a few at a time, leave them for only a minute, then scoop them out into a bowl. When they have cooled a bit the skins slip right off. I then cut out the core and slice them in half lengthwise, squeeze the seeds into the scrap bowl with the skins and cores, and drop the halves into a jar.

In about 10 minutes I go from a cutting board covered in mixed tomatoes to a jar filled with jewel toned tomato flesh. I will keep this in the fridge now for up to a week, and pull it out when I want salsa, or pasta sauce, or soup. I have saved many a tomato from compost this way, and love having small batches of good, fresh food ready in the fridge.

You know what? I think I will add a big pile of fresh chopped garlic and minced fresh parsley to this jar. Whenever I am ready it will be perfect cold or warm on pasta.

The scrap bowl went to the chickens. They almost hurt themselves scrambling to get to those tomato skins.