Monday, March 9, 2009

Autumn Produce

Summer is by far my favourite season, but I do love the start of autumn – there is an ever so slight chill in the air, the leaves are changing colour and of course there is all that lovely Autumn produce – autumn fruit and vegetables are my favourites. It is also the time of year when I make jam, preserve and pickle, readying the stores for the winter months. This year though, seeing as we are living in a small apartment and the majority of my preserving jars and also my large pots, are packed away, I had no intention of preserving this year.

However, a couple of weeks ago, a friend gave me a big bag of tomatoes from her garden to make tomato relish. Tomato relish is our favourite relish and we go through it by the truck load. I always use my Nana’s recipe, and while Mum has kept us in good supply over the last six months, it was a good opportunity to replenish the supplies. When I was given the tomatoes, I put them in the freezer – Mum said that nana used to do that sometimes, and then used them yesterday when I had more time. The relish turned out beautifully – I was surprised as I wasn’t too sure what freezing the tomatoes would do to them. This relish is fabulous with anything – we often have it as a before dinner snack with crackers and cheese or cottage cheese, it goes well with cold meats or sausages and is fabulous as the base for mousetraps and in salad rolls.

Yesterday morning I went to the Takapuna market for only the second time this year. I bought this lovely bunch of hydrangeas – I just love hydrangeas, the colours are so vivid. I also bought tomatoes, red peppers, coriander, freshly dug potatoes, garlic, red and brown onions, eggplant and rainbow silverbeet (chard). We had steak on the bbq last night and to go with it I made a yummy salad by roasting some tomatoes, red peppers and red onions with crushed garlic and cumin seeds, cooling the lot and then tossing with a dressing made from olive oil, lemon juice and basil leaves. It was really yummy.

Thanks to everyone who has left comments about my blog. It is so nice to read such lovely feedback and to know what people are interested in reading about. My favourite comment though was about the number of exclamation marks I use! ;0) It made me laugh, as I totally agree – I use far too many of them and it even drives me crazy. So, from now on you will see far less !!!!!s. I also think that a useful recipe index is a great idea and I will incorporate that as part of the up-date of my blog’s look.

By the way, I had my first run today in 7 weeks – 25 minutes and I loved it. Even though I had no pain from my stress fracture, I did manage to trip over 5 minutes into the run and have badly scraped both knees, my elbow and my hip. I think I will be stiff tomorrow!

Nana’a Tomato Relish (I have converted to metric measurements)

1kg tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 kg onions, peeled and chopped
1 kg apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1.3kg sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp curry powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground cloves
3 c vinegar (Nana always used malt, but I use white)

· Combine all ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil and simmer for an hour
· Thicken with a little cornflour mixed to a paste with vinegar
Bottle in hot, sterilised jars


Elyse said...

I can't say that I've ever had tomato relish, but it sounds absolutely delicious. Tomatoes are one of my favorite fruits. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

Anonymous said...

Tomato relish sounds delicious. I love summer tomatoes. What a great way to preserve their flavor.

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Thanks for sharing your Nan's recipe, they always have the best recipes don't they! The hydrangeas look beautifully vivid. We tend to get more faded colours here in our garden.

Cakelaw said...

Delicious looking relish - I am wary of bottling after my diastrous chilli jam experience a few months ago, but perhaps it's time to get back in the saddle. The hydrangeas are also gorgeous.

Ashlee said...

Hi Tammy,

Your relish looks great! I might have to try it myself this weekend. Where do you get your preserving jars? and what do you think the best way to sterilise them is?


Tammy said...

Hi Ashlee

I get my bottles from Arthur Holmes in Wellington (they do mail order) and i sterilise them by washing in hot soapy water, then putting them in an oven heated to about 100c for 25 minutes. i pour boiling water over the lids.