It’s All about the Food

For my birthday I got many great presents, but this one was the most joyful: eggs from a friend and neighbors’ chickens, until mine start laying. In exchange I gave a jar of honey. I love to barter!

And a small miracle occurred. For a few days in a row there was no information booth, no Transition meeting, no solar tour, no compost bin building marathon session, no gardening demonstration or beehive inspection… none of all that on my calendar. Time to catch up on the 35 lbs. of tomatoes I bought at the farm stand around the corner (*). I processed half into (freezer) tomato sauce and half  into tomato chutney, or “tomato jam.”

I used my MIL’s recipe, very simple and easy:

  1. 15 lbs of tomatoes, chopped (so no de-seeding, no peeling!)
  2. 10 cups of sugar
  3. 6 teaspoons of grated ginger (more or less, to taste)
  4. 1 1/2 cups of lime juice (more but not less, to taste), added at the end

Boil until thick enough. It doesn’t have to be as thick as jam, but it still takes a long time (my tomatoes were very juicy, so it took 4 hours). Then pack into clean jars with 1/4″ head space,  hot water bathe for 20 minutes.

(*) now there’s a typical story. I asked the farmer how much I’d pay for 10 lbs. $1.49, she said. I asked and what if I bought 20 lbs. $1 lb. I said Okay, I’ll have 30 lbs, then. The box that was sitting so conveniently on the counter held 35 lbs. So I took that.

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