Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Cooking: My first attempts at preserving

Tomato chutney
I don't know where the spark of the idea came from, but back in spring I got it into my mind that I wanted to do some preserving this year. I was initially thinking of fruit. Peaches to be precise. Eating ripe white peaches are one of the things I miss about living in Sydney.

The idea then quietly slipped away....

A few weeks ago the shop just down the road was selling 5kg boxes of tomatoes at £2.99. I couldn't help myself and bought a box. I hadn't really thought the idea through as I didn't have any containers in which to preserve into.

I liked the idea of chutney, but decided that a tomato sauce was the way to go. I turned to the Real Food Companion by Matthew Evans (thanks Penne and Clint!) and made his simple, but tasty roast tomato sauce with 3kg of the tomatoes. Scrabbling in my cupboards for some jars, with the rest of the sauce going in the freezer.

With the remaining 2kgs I made some semi-dried tomatoes by roasting them in the oven on a low temperature.

Roast tomato sauce

When I was at home last weekend mum set me up with some empty jars and tops. The project almost ended in disaster when the local shop had stopped selling boxes of tomatoes, but I found a different shop next to Everest Curry King that was selling tomatoes at the even cheaper price of £1.99.

I decided to go with the easy looking recipe on Brydie's blog, with 3kg of the tomatoes. I put in less garlic (as I had less in the cupboard) and used a smaller quantity of vinegar (substituting for red wine vinegar), but otherwise followed the recipe as it was.

The chutney is my first attempt at preserving in jars. Hopefully I have got a good seal and the chutney doesn't go off! If Becks hadn't told me I needed to moisten the plastic seals it definitely would have gone wrong.

Fruit soak for my Christmas cake

The final thing I got going (by saying "I", I really mean Becks) this weekend was the fruit soak for my first attempt at the Bourke St Bakery Christmas Cake. I've never made the family Christmas cake before. It's a big responsibility!

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh you're doing the bourke street bakery one eh? I just had another look at it...I'm tempted sorely tempted. I've never made a 'proper' christmas cake before.

    Hope your chutney works out too. I'd forgotten I'd actually had that recipe on my blog :-)