Careful What You Wish For!
Well I am still in my tomato days. Roasting, slicing, peeling, canning, drying….drawing, dreaming tomatoes (or is it a nightmare?) This seems to be a seasonal reminder of the old adage “careful what you wish for…”. When we planted our four tomato plants in the late spring. We were full of anticipation and lust for that sweet, savory, juicy bite of a fresh ripe tomato. Winter was long and we were weary of kale and greens and root vegetables, so we tilled and dug and mixed our precious worm castings into the soil and set our four little starts gingerly in the ground. We surrounded our little sprouts with giant wire tomato cages and then we waited. By god our efforts were rewarded, the wire cages are no longer visible, tomatoes of all sorts and sizes are playing hide and seek with in the tangled tower of pungent greenery. Every day I pick a hand full of Sungold cherry tomatoes to pop in my mouth like candy, and most days I make myself a cheese and tomato sandwich for lunch. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, there is no true taste of late summer, and I will mourn the day when the sun is no longer bold enough to ripen the green tomatoes still clinging to the vine, that said, I am astounded by the quantity of this bounty and my desire to not waste a single jewel is palpable. I give myself an hour this foggy morning to draw a little tomato still life on my I pad but now it’s back to the cook pots (those tomatoes won’t cook themselves ya know!) Following is the recipe I tried last week for Ketchup. This is a big winner the whole family loved it! Also check out the website my husband has all the calendar painting up for sale and more ( calendar paintings ). And here is a link to up coming classes including the introduction to iPad drawing like the tomato portrait shown here (classes).
|6 large tomatoes,peeled & quartered1 bulb fennel, chopped1 yellow onion, chopped4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup white sugar
|1/4 cup molasses1/4 cup red wine vinegar10 whole cloves +2 whole star anise pods in cheese cloth pouch
1 tablespoon salt
*makes 3-4 cups
|1.||In a large saucepan combine tomatoes, fennel, onion, garlic, sugar, molasses, vinegar and salt, bring to a low boil to reduce volume by 1/3. Put cloves, anise pods in cheese cloth pouch for easy retrieval and drop into pot. At this point you have 2 options leave in pot on stove over lowest heat until mixture becomes very thick 1-2 hours (stirring occationally so it doesn’t burn. Other option is to put in slow cooker on high with lid off for 5-7 hours until thick.|
|2.||Puree mixture in a blender, cusinart or immersion blender and strain through a mesh strainer. Put in jars and can in hot water bath for 15 min or simply chill and store in refrigerator.* I doubled this recipe with no problem and got 8 cups of yummy Ketchup!|