Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The results

I had a quick google and it seems like adding any other veg, even onions to the tomatoes would mean that I should pressure can them.  Since I only have a water bath canner I kept it simple.  I skinned the tomatoes, quartered them and, together with the ones from the jar that didn't seal yesterday set them to cooking.  Cooked for about half-an-hour altogether.  I did add herbs though, from a few recipes I read, this should be okay.  Black pepper, a small amount of salt, oregano, thyme and basil (need to get more basil now since I accidentally upended the packet and ended up having to fish most of it back out again.  Boo.).

What was in the jar obviously also had some water and the lemon juice from yesterday so I weighed that first and it was 900g.  The other tomatoes, once skinned and cored were 1275g.  After cooking down a bit, I ended up with almost exactly 4 x 0.5 litre jars.  I so badly wanted to use up the last little bit but then my jars would have been too full and I know they wouldn't have sealed properly.  I had also added the juice of half a lemon to each jar.  It is 22.40 now and I've just heard the proper boiling starting so I will process them as required for 35 minutes.  So I should be in bed slightly earlier than yesterday at least.

Here is a photo of the tomatoes which I processed yesterday.
The jar at the back is the one that didn't seal - the lid is just resting upside down on top of it here.  Here are two more photos to illustrate how much fluid was lost during the processing.

Yesterday before processing:
The liquid goes up essentially to where you can see the orange rubber seal.  The lids then provide the required headspace.  Here's the jars today after processing and fully cooling down:
The one on the right is the most extreme example but it's a slightly different shape jar than the others (wider and shorter) so that might account for some of it.  And the jar on the left is the most extreme example of the liquid at the bottom, tomatoes on the top issue.  All in all I think I'm not such a big fan of the packing whole tomaotes raw into jars method.  I know the tomatoes weren't great either but there's such a difference between these jars and these ones from last year.  And interesting to note that it was almost exactly a year ago that I bottled my first tomaotes.  Now there's a coincidence.

Here's the bread:
Forgive the slight chopping off the top of the first photo but that one was still the best one I took.  One of these days I'll get a good camera and learn to take photos properly.  I'm not sure it really comes out in the second photo but the very middle was slightly denser than it should be but for my first attempt at soda bread in, I think, about three years, it's pretty damn good.  Slightly too crusty so if I had left it in for the few more minutes that would have sorted out the very middle, it would have been burnt and far too crispy on the outside.  I wrapped it in a teatowel as soon as it came out of the oven and am glad I did or it would have been even crispier.  As it is, this bread won't last long I think.  I had four slices of it for dinner.  Yum.

I also had one small slice of the quiche once that was cooked.  I chopped up five small, skinny leeks, one red onion, one yellow onion and a few cloves of garlic.  Rolled out the pastry and spread mustard on the bottom.  I have no Dusseldorf mustard at the moment so had bought another type in the supermarket and it is very sweet.  But that's Germans for you, not too fond of spicy food and even the mustard is often very sweet.  Spread the leek and onion mixture over the top of the mustard, added some feta cheese and then poured over the egg mixture.  Then I sliced two tomatoes and added them on top, trying to swirl the egg over them at least a little bit.  It didn't turn out too badly in the end and will be nice to have for lunch for the next couple of days.
And the best part of all is that I've done all the washing up.  Yay me!

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