Thursday, 9 April 2015

The Season.......in a Bottle

Autumn is passing by in a blur of either being in the garden preparing it for Winter, harvesting, or in the house within close reach of the stove and my preserving unit.

Bean, Pepper and Tomato Harvest
one mornings harvest still plenty of tomatoes even though they're winding down production

Bottling Tomato SauceOver the years I have refined my preserving efforts down to what we will actually eat. Long gone are the days when I would bottle the glut of pears only to feed them to the pigs later on down the track because no one was really interested in eating more than a couple of jars.

Each year after harvest we reassess our needs for the upcoming year - the number of mouths to feed has reduced as the older kids have left home and eating habits change.

Last year 24 tomato plants was the perfect amount to provide enough bottled tomatoes and pasta sauce, but as 2014 saw us significantly reducing our intake of carbs and pasta is no longer on the menu..........we just don't need as much. Next Spring's planting will probably see only 16 plants going in.

 This year I'm bottling:

Bottles of Sweet Chilli SauceTomato: paste, sauce (ketchup), salsa, pasta sauce

and Sweet Chilli Sauce

Living in an area where there's a number of apple orchards close by, I usually bottle Apple Pie filling which my daughter loves and is great to have on hand for a quick dessert. This year we've had our usual glut of pears and instead of the excess going to the cows I'm going to try making Pear Pie filling. Same/same but different I think, though the proof will be whether it passes the Erin Approval Test. The pears are also organic, and grown on our farm, which, unfortunately the apples are not.

Back to the kitchen......I can smell my tomato paste calling......