Monday, August 04, 2014

False economy

This weekend, rather than buying tomatoes at the farmers' market from the local, organic farmer, I decided that my local corner greengrocer had an offer that was too good to miss. 99c per kilo for German (no further designation so no idea how local) tomatoes. Okay, at that price you're bound to have to throw out a few mouldy or squashed ones but, you know, have to be practical. Until I have my own garden I have to find a way to accommodate the cost of bottling my own tomatoes and this, I thought it one way to do it.

I did this a couple of years ago and I remember at the time thinking that really the tomatoes weren't great and that I wouldn't bother another time. But the bargain seemed to good to miss so I did it again. Because I did remember that when I opened and used those jars in the winter, they weren't half bad. However, out of the 8kg I bought, I barely managed to get enough tomato to fill five 1 litre jars. The amount of mouldy or otherwise bad ones to throw out actually wasn't too bad, maybe eight or ten tomatoes plus cutting pieces off some more. And I had no sooner sat down to start processing them than I remembered what I hated last time. These tomatoes are just not the ripe ones I'm used to from the market, despite the look and feel of them. And/or they're the type bred to have a super tough skin. So the usual method of blanching in hot and then cold water to loosen the skin so that it just slips off just doesn't work. I ended up taking nearly three fucking hours to get them all done. What a waste of my time. What a waste of a huge amount of tomato which just wouldn't come away from the skin. It was like watching someone peeling a potato the size of their hand and ending up with a one inch square.

So, although I did start very late, far later than planned due to my inability today to get moving at all, I definitely still didn't think that I'd be sitting here at one o'clock waiting for the water bath processing to be finished. So, no more bargain tomatoes for me. Unless perhaps I get them to roast and then put through the mouli to make passata.

In other news, I am either heading into another crappy depressive episode or have the worst PMS I can remember having for years. I've burst into uncontrollable tears several times today, am struggling to move against the tidal wave of worthlessness and what's-the-point-edness that's threatening to drown me and the thoughts of actually having to fill out that form my therapist gave me is crippling. That's the form that's supposed to give them an idea of how I'm finding the treatment and also be used to convince my Krankenkasse that I should get another 15 sessions (or whatever arbitrary number they've decided on). I had a quick read through the day I got it and it has been stressing me out ever since but I have to hand it in on Tuesday (also the day I meet my new therapist since the one I had been working with has now gone on maternity leave). I'll be glad once it's done but genuinely don't know what I'm going to answer for some of the questions. If I'd known there was going to be a fecking exam I would have taken notes during my sessions!


slugmama said...

Here's a time you have to peel tomatoes for canning, just throw them in the freezer. When you thaw them, the skins fall right off, no blanching needed.

Moonwaves said...

I'll have to make a note of that for the future. My freezer at the moment is just a small one on top of the fridge - I'd only be able to fit the tomatoes in if I took everything else out! Which reminds me, must start clearing some stuff out of it, i.e. duck for dinner tomorrow!

Fiona said...

Frustrating to have to deal with the wrong type of tomato. I guess it can be chalked up to experience for next time, though not much consolation now.

I hope you are feeling ok, and I really hope that silly form isn't still bothering you. Maybe you can write down how the form is making you feel and just be done with it?

Moonwaves said...

Thanks Fiona. I got it filled out in the end and just left out two particularly stupid questions. It wasn't even a language issue because I asked the girl I share an office with and she couldn't figure out what they wanted either. In other news, it may have come nearly 10 days late but my period did actually arrive overnight on Monday so at least the PMS-y mood is slowly starting to lift. And I get to be very appreciative of my mooncup all over again. :)