Tomato Paste Recipe

We purchased 8kg of Roma (egg shaped) tomatoes and set to work turning them into tomato paste.

* First boil a large pot of water
* Cut a cross in the bottom of all the tomatoes
* Place the tomatoes into the pot of water a few at a time
* Once the skin starts to come away from the tomatoes pop them into a sink of cold water
* Peal the skin off the cold tomatoes
* Slice in half and scoop out seeds and cut out hard white core parts

Cooking bit
* Measure how many liters of tomatoes now have, had 1/2 teaspoon of salt for each liter (we ended up with a 6 liter boiler full)
* Boil for one hour
* Get a really tight blender or and wand and (don’t bother with a sieve) and get everything nice and fine
* Boil till reduced to a paste (sticks to the spoon in a clumpy sticky ball), takes 2-3 hours
* Stir occasionally to prevent sticking

Bottling bit (if not freezing)
* When the paste is looking like it’s almost thick enough boil up another pot of water
* Place your canning jars, seals & lids into the water to sterilise
* Remove them from the water once  paste is ready
* Poor paste into jars about 3cm from top and seal with some olive oil before putting on the lids.

Freezing bit (if not bottling) 
* Work out your serving sizes (a mix of 1 & 2 tablespoons is probably good)
* Place this amount into either freezer containers, zip lock bags or ice cube trays (empty trays into bags once frozen)
* Pop into freezer and forget until you need it 

Tips
* Wear an apron as the hot lava bubbles everywhere
* Put a lid on the bubbling lava
* Place a teatowel over your arm holding the stirring spoon to protect from the lava
* I keep repeating the word “lava” because boiling tomatoes is really that hot! 

Summary – We started with 8kg kilo’s of tomatoes, reduced that to about 8 cups of paste. I didn’t boil the paste quite as long as I should have though as I was worried about burning (I’d switched pots 3 times already). We have a horrible electric stove that you can’t make instant temp adjustments too and seems to have two settings, boiling and off.

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Sausage Rolls

I made sausage rolls for dinner last night and they were sooo good. Ingredients list:

  • 20g breadcrumbs (I used gluten free)
  • 50ml milk (rice, dairy or soy)
  • 50ml red wine

    Mix these ingredients together and leave to soak while you do the rest
     

  • 450g mince (I used pork, but you could use beef, veal or a combo)
  • 400g can tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • a handful of parsley, chopped
  • a few sprigs of marjoram, oregano and thyme fresh from the garden

    Mix together with the bread mix
     

  • Savory pastry sheets (puff, potato based gluten free etc)

I used 20cm x 20cm squares of pastry for each sausage roll. They were big as each one served one person for dinner. The mix will easily make 4 large rolls or a bunch of smaller ones. They freeze well too.

When the zucchinis are in season I’d also grate these into the mix (and any other vegetables that take my fancy). 

We served this up with a salad fresh from the garden which also included some of the Borlotti beans. Like the bean seeds the Borlotti beans have that purple stripping on them, however, when they are cooked they go a rich green all over and taste great. Originally we had planted them just to harvest the seed but picked young they taste great whole.

Sorry no pictures, nothing survived long enough *grin*

And we’re back!

I have so much today now that we are home and rested a hardly have the time to stop and write this post.

I’ve just ran around to the house of a lovely lady from Auckland Freecycle who has given me several bags of Romany fleece (white and black). My Ashford Book of Spinning tells me that Romney is a great fleece for beginners to spin, which would be me. If you don’t know about the Freecycle network you should seriously research it for your area. It’s a great resource for those 3 R’s.

Ashford Spinning WheelAmong our clothing and christmas gifts I also managed to bring back my spinning wheel and spent a lovely time (except for the bit when I was swearing at the stupid screw thinging that wouldn’t go back into the hole it had come out of and had to grumble until Craig came and fixed it for me – love husbands *grin*). Anyway, I mostly happily put my spinning wheel back together, which gave me a much better understanding of how it all works, oiled up all the oiling up parts and now have a lot of reading and practice to do.

My new drum carder should arrive on Monday (yay), so I need to make sure that I wash at least some of the fleece I now have (I think I now have about 8 big bags). Researching my drum carder and my spinning wheel as made me realise there are still few things I need to add to my arsenal of wool craft tools. The most important ones right now being that it seems I have only 1 bobbin for my spinning wheel – which will become a problem very very quickly and I don’t have a Lazy Kate (but I may be able to make one or improvise) *sigh*

Aside form the crafty things today, I’ve also been in kitchen whipping up a batch of Kombucha Tea (or Manchurian Tea, whichever you prefer). This tea is apparently renowned for all sorts of health wonders, it’s a fermented iced tea, basically, and I tried some and liked it so am now the proud owner of my own “Kombucha mushroom” (which is the started, somewhat like you would do for yogurt or sourdough). Once I finish writting this I will FINALLY get around to having a go at making my sourdough starter.

Woodworking wise, Craig and I purchased a bed on TradeMe.co.nz, only to get it how and find it was WAY too short so we drove al the way back to the North Shore (North East of us) to give it back (long story) and thus we have decided to make our own bed again, so this Saturday is early morning farmers market shopping followed by bed making in the workshed, should be fun.

Gardening – my three sisters are doing wonderfully and people have been telling me how many courgettes they’ve been taking, the corn is coming along wonderfully and the climbing beans look so cool  winding their way up the corn stems. I also purchased a bunch of new seedlings for the balcony planter box (spinach, basil and chives) as well as an aubergine (egg plant) to go in a garden somewhere. I need to clean out the last of the “potato box” broadbeans and tulip bulbs and I’m going to fill it with some lettuces. I left paper bags over a few things – spinach and celery) to collect their seeds but it didn’t really work – partly because it seems that a few bugs really like to nibble at the paper resulting in big holes *pout* so my seed saving in that regards has failed. It also seems that all my broad bean plants have been harvested and sacrificed to the new clothes line/pagola and nobody has mentioned saving much of the seeds (which was the point of that planting) – so my seed saving efforts for this past season have gone a miss, ahh well, it’s the journey and the learning right 🙂

The last thing I wanted to share today was the recipe for tonights dinner, I really enjoyed it and before I forget what I did I need to get it down:

Chili Bean & Pork Mince

  • Heat pan and oil
  • Add garlic, chilli and onion – fry till fragrant
  • Add 1/2 kilo of pork mince – brown
  • Add a dash of saki, tamari and sesame oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste (frehly ground of course)
  • Add a handful of flat beans  cut into 2cm lengths and cook  to taste (we like our beans to still have some crunch).

Serve on a bed of lettuce (next time we would add some light items like cucumber to the lettuce and perhaps also serve with some asparagus).  Delicious!