Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes

February 7, 2021

I say Tomayto, you say Tomarto……

But these little gems are way too handy to not have in the pantry, so seriously, let’s not call the whole thing off!   And, quite frankly, is there anything that says ‘summer’ more than a vine ripened tomato, fresh from the bush, still warm from the sun?  Yeah, we don’t think so.

Whether your tomatoes come from your veggie patch or from a local grower at your farmers market, the best recommendation we can give you is to ensure that they have been allowed to fully ripen on the bush, because when they are picked early for transport they just don’t have the flavour, and if you want your bottled produce to pack a flavour punch then it starts with the growing –  And let’s face it, locally grown food is so much better in so many ways, so now is the time we encourage you to find your closest local grower and get friendly!

We are not exaggerating when we say that Tomatoes are a staple item in our pantries, and now that the stone fruit is starting to slow down we turn our attention to making the most of every one of those red love-apples we can get our hands on.   A jar of passata is perfect in a one-pot-wonder of winter minestrone, or a roasted tomato sauce goes beautifully into spaghetti bolognese, or you can choose to go super easy and just preserve your cherry tomatoes whole to stir through freshly cooked pasta with lashings of fresh basil – perfect for a really quick dinner.  Toss them into the slow cooker on winter days with lamb shanks, use as ready made pizza sauce for family pizza nights, mix with kidney beans for a super quick chilli con Carne, roughly chop as a salsa for nachos, the versatility of this bottled fruit is amazing!

If you are short on time we recommend bottling your tomatoes whole and coming back to them over winter to make Tomato Sauce.  Our favourite winter Tomato Sauce comes from Sally Wise in her book ‘A Year in A bottle’ – such an easy recipe to turn out, and delicious on home made pasties!

Tomatoes are among the easiest of all fruits to bottle because their shape, texture and flavour are so versatile, and we make no secret of the fact that we both work to the theory that when you think you’ve bottled enough…….just bottle a few more!  Because it doesn’t seem to matter how many we do, by the end of the year the pantry is empty and we are anxiously counting down the weeks until tomato season rolls around again.  Tomato sauce, passata, whole tomatoes, tomato soup, roasted tomato pasta mix, more  whole tomatoes, cherry tomatoes….the list and options are endless. And delicious.  And Simple!

We will talk you through all our favourite tomato recipes, very simple food safety rules, and lots of time saving tips in our online preserving workshop being held Sunday February21st.  You can follow the link below if you would like more information, or to make a workshop booking

February Tomato Zoom Workshop – enrol here

We will be talking about lots of tomato preserving options this month in our social media feed, and as always we are always happy to answer questions and share tips – so be sure to join the conversation – we always love hearing what our keepers are up to

Keep up the good work Keepers!

Marieka & Sheralee

Those Barossa Girls
Have you ever wanted to try preserving?

enrol in one of our in-person or online workshops