Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tomato Jam

So I made a couple jars of tomato jam from my chocolate cherry tomatoes over the weekend. I'd been picking them as they ripen, using a few in salads, roasting some in olive oil to have over pasta, and holding onto the rest until I had enough to make a half batch of the recipe. It's got a spicy kick to it that I like, although if I make it again I'd like it a little more savory and a teeny bit less sweet. I already cut the sugar a bit, but I think I'd scale it back to 3/4 of a cup. I think I'd also cut down on the cinnamon and add some cumin to nudge it a little more into ketchup-ish territory, while still allowing it the kind of sweetness that works for meat glazes and on sandwiches. But overall I'm pretty pleased with it.

I spread some on a baguette with mozzarella cheese, and nuked it a bit in the microwave to melt the cheese, and it was really tasty. I also think the flavors will marry and age well over time. I was pretty excited about this, even though it only made 2 jars, with a little extra in a bowl in the fridge. It's the first time I've had a garden with enough yield in it to can anything.

I've always been a small batch canner because with a 2-person household there's not much reason to can massive amounts of product. I don't have many chances (or reasons) to buy 20 or more pounds of anything for canning, or to have a dozen jars of pickles or preserves of any one type in my pantry. I make just about enough for our uses, with a few extra to swap with other people for their canned product, or as little gifts.

I've got a lot of other tomatoes that are ripening (including a lot more of the cherry tomatoes). I'll probably make some of those into a salsa, and maybe a few jars of tomato sauce, depending on how much of them we want to eat fresh. I gotta say, just putting up a couple jars from the garden is motivation enough to get me planning in earnest for a cool weather fall garden, and to contemplate planting for the spring.

In the meantime I'm enjoying tending the plants I have, and watching our natural bug repellers do their work.

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