This blog follows on from the interview with Owen and Emma Kate of TomBoys
After our chat they gave me some tomatoes – just over 20kg actually.. A lot. Too much? Nearly! Definitely enough so I could play around with how to use them.
When the Tassievores got together to brainstorm events for the events calendar, a group tomato picking/ bottling event was top of my list for a good reskilling workshop. It didn’t pan out unfortunately, so this blog is about my own experience with a lot of tomatoes.
Straight up I did as Owen and Emma Kate recommended and made a passata/ sugo style sauce from a Fowlers Vacola recipe that just so happened to be all Tassievore (score!).
Chop. Cook. Herbs. Don’t they look nice!? Here are the proud results of the passata-fest with sexy bottling outfit in the background.
I have already used one bottle to make a zuchinni-puntanesca style pasta with some home churned pasta – very happy. I’ve given away a few bottles but will hold on to the rest for some more tasty adventures. I worried it would be too watery and bland, but nope! Great flavour.
I gave 8 or so kilos to a mate who made a big batch of tomato sauce with them – the type you’d pour on a (local) snag in bread,
so after that and the Passata I had 7kg of tomatoes left. I decided to wait a bit for flavour to develop. The tomatoes were picked that morning so there were no soft/squishy/furry toms in the mix. They didn’t make A grade due to superficial blemishes – a black spot or no little greeny stalky bit. Checking in on them three days later I was greeted by a half-box of happy, red little fellows still quite firm and nowhere near ‘squishy’.
So I left them a week in a box on the floor.
And then they were how I wanted them, crazy red and getting soft to touch – still no furry ones as none of the skins had split. I made a sauce/ relish combo which turned out great (not as salty/ acidic as a tomato sauce, and not using a bottle of EZY sauce as I probably would if making a relish). The mustard seeds are really only for decoration as they didn’t add much flavour..
I thought i’d give drying a go with the final kilo. Unsure how economical this is with power though – especially when you put the dehyrdrater on the wrong setting – repeatedly. (estimated 14 hours of power usage to dehydrate them)
Anyway – the end result of the drying experience (with salt and rosemary) was this. They look crazy red huh.
I can’t believe that’s all of the tomatoes gone! Now that I know I can make these things I would love a few more batches of passata and some conventional sauce (mate only gave me one bottle, booooo) and maybe try a few types of salsa – I wonder if tomato paste is hard to make or the energy (electrical) put into making it doesn’t make it worth it? Hmm yes i definitely want to try more. Good news is that I know where to source TomBoys now (pun!) and they aren’t the only one around growing local toms. *ahem – proud announcement, the first of my own backyard crop are getting some colour on them – Behold the first pick!