Well, it's been an unusually social three weeks around here, with three overnight trips to Sydney for various reasons, and lots of comings and goings here. We've had visitors from Canada and Adelaide, birthday celebrations for my son, long overdue invitations to friends for lunch, Easter holidays, kids' sleepovers. I hope all that social activity (and let's be frank here, alcohol and chocolate) is why I'm feeling so lethargic. With nothing planned for the next few weeks and a better diet, hopefully I can regain a bit of energy.
One thing that needed attending, tired or not, was the tomatoes. Man alive. For some reason, our tomato bushes have lavished us with produce on an unprecedented scale, both the self seeded and the planted ones. And when you have kilos and kilos of tomatoes threatening to overtake your kitchen, you have to do something with them. Now.
I've never had this problem before, so I've been trialling different ways of preserving the bounty. I've made oven-dried tomatoes, tomato relish, pasta sauce and I've frozen pureed tomatoes. My favourite method of preserving, however, is the preserved tomatoes above, based on instructions given to my mother by my Zia Luigina in Italy, during mum's visit there in 1973. Mum wrote down her instructions as she watched her preserve tomatoes in this way, and only coincidentally came across the jottings while I was there this week. Coincidentally again, I picked up Tessa Kiros' Twelve while at the library today and she has a recipe in their that is very similar.
It is laughably easy and labour unintensive, and this is probably why I like it so much in my current state of over-it-ness.
Simply halve the tomatoes, and deseed them (as you can see I wasn't very strict with this). Let them sit in a colander for a while too disgorge any excess water. Finely chop some parsley, mix with a little salt and pepper. Pack the halved tomatoes into sterilised jars firmly (I used jars straight from the dishwasher), top with a little of the parsley mixture and two tablespoons of olive oil per jar. Close lids firmly.
Put the jars into a large pot (I put a tea towel in the bottom of the pot to stop them rattling), cover with boiling water, and simmer for 15-20mins. Keep in the water bath until completely
cool, and then remove.
Do you have any other tomato preserving ideas?