This space has been rather silent in the last couple weeks. We’ve been busy preserving food, visiting friends that have come from afar and renovating our home, which never truly seems to end. In the last weeks I’ve been freezing apricots, swiss chard and basil pesto but now that tomatoes and peaches are ready for harvesting the preserving marathon is in its most intense phase. Actually, I almost feel that waking up early and going for a run would be a relaxing activity these days.
We recently picked over 45 kilos (100 pounds) of Roma tomatoes from Covert Farms, an organic u-pick close to Oliver, BC along with the same amount of peaches. Along with this significant influx of produce I have been picking close to 10 kilos (about 20 pounds) of tomatoes from my garden every two or three days. So what do I plan to do with all the tomatoes? Well, we eat a lot of tomatoes every day but it hardly makes a dent into the pile. I have been slow roasting our grape tomatoes and freezing them for later. I did this last year and we enjoyed adding them to pizza, pasta, stews and soups. When I get tired of slow roasting the grape tomatoes I start tossing them into a large freezer bag whole.
The first canned tomato product that we tackle is our basic spicy red salsa. We make two or three batches of the recipe to satisfy our salsa cravings throughout the year. Once the salsa is made we move on to crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce, and when we get tired of those we make homemade ketchup and tomato paste. This year I’m also experimenting with making some yellow tomato and basil jam and spicy peach and yellow tomato jam.
And the peaches? Most will be canned in simple syrup. Although I did start a batch of vanilla peach mead from True Brews but it won’t be ready to consume for eight months to a year, which seems like a very long time to wait. I may also make some peach jam.
How about you? Have you had the chance to preserve any of the summer’s bounty for the coming winter?