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 

* 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.


What’s growing

Here’s another photo heavy post, (oh who am I kidding my posts are always photo heavy lol), of everything that is currently growing, flowering and budding in our world of food.

First up we have some zucchinis.

Here’s another photo heavy post, (oh who am I kidding my posts are always photo heavy lol), of everything that is currently growing, flowering and budding in our world of food. First up we have some zucchinis.

“A banana” (must be said aloud as per Fozzie Bear)


(we have one bunch of banana’s in a dark cupboard slowing maturing)

In the green house (I think I previously mentioned how we had recovered the large green house)

The first tomato 


The peas, corn and zucchini’s are in a “three sisters guild” arrangement which I’ve mentioned before when we were at Earthsong. It’s so far the only “guild” planting we’ve done and it works well I think.

Back out in the orchards we have:


LOTS of grapes (lets hope they are a yummy variety)

Now one of these is kiwi fruit flowers and one is another fruit which I can’t remember the name of right now (banana passion-fruit maybe).

The other one

We also have fejoa flowers and itty bitty olives, not sure if the figs have started to produce yet though.

We have a huge variety of beans including dwarf beans, borlotti, cannelloni, and slenderett.

We are self sufficient currently in all our leafy greens which has been very exciting, and the roast vegetables with dinner the other night included our own beetroot. The potato crop is going exceptionally well so we are looking forward to a good harvest there.

Craig and Buffie also harvested some of broad beans from our patches at Earthsong and we have 2 sandwich bags of beans in the freezer along with some baby leeks and a variety of herbs.

Seedling Update

The peas are coming along splendidly and supper fast.

Te Anau & Southland Snow PeasTe Anau (top) & Southland Snow Peas (bottom)

Some of the Beesteak (pictured) & money maker tomatoes are starting to come up.

Tomatoe seedlings

There are actually two cucumbers coming up in this photo, one in the bottom left corner and one at the top right edge.

Cucumber seedlings

Almost half a dozen of the Kentuky Beans are sprouting. I believe these are the type of beans I grew up on so I’ll be very excited if they do come up and even more so if I can save some of the seeds.


No basil or cabsicum yet though. I also harvested my first few broad bean pods yesterday (not from the balcony garden), I’m thinking tonights dinner will be meat and three veg featuring the broad beans 🙂