Appetites – Tomatoes

Here’s Rossa‘s adventure with her tomatoes – businesswomen have to relax somehow and I’d like to also hear how Jailhouse Lawyer‘s jam making did this year.

I made some Tomato Jam on Friday. Not a chutney, but a spiced jam. It apparently tastes like strawberry jam and in some ways it does though I’ve never seen a strawberry jam with green bits in it. Well not unless it has been in the fridge for too long and grown a fur coat.

Tomatoes are something I grow at home. Moving here 4 years ago gave me access to my first real garden and this year I tried 3 varieties. The red ones are a French variety called Marmande a ribbed beef tomato type. My Dad used to grow them in the 70s so I was keen to see if I could grow them too, being such a Daddy’s girl. I’ve had the best results with these ones this year. Largest one weighed about a pound.

Some tomatoes I picked earlier!

Then there is a lovely yellow one, not sure of the name as the seeds were given to me by a friend. They are the sweetest and funnily enough taste more tomatoey than the red ones!

The tiny little ones are called Sweet Pea Currant tomatoes and are the size of a large blackcurrant. They are little explosions of flavour in their own right. Trouble is when I’m picking them most just get eaten there and then like sweeties.

There is a range of spices that go in the jam. Star anise, a whole vanilla pod, coriander seeds, cardamom seeds, juniper berries, cloves and black peppercorns. The recipe says to toast the spices in a dry pan and then grind them up in a pestle and mortar. Well I don’t know about you but I didn’t fancy grinding up the star anise which is a bit woody and the cardamom pods…well I just threw the spices in whole and left them in the pots when I filled them.

So what’s the verdict?

It hasn’t set very well as there was a lot of moisture in the tomatoes. I didn’t want to overcook it so it just became more of a sauce. Tastes sweet like a jam but the spices add a nice zing and I did add in a bit of chilli to get more of a kick. It actually goes well alongside some cooked meat, like ham, and a tomato salad. The raw tomatoes in the salad can be a bit acidic so the jam balances that out very well.

If you grow your own or want to have a go here is the link to the recipe:

http://www.sarahraven.com/learn/this-month-in-kitchen/de-kas-tomato-jam

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5 comments for “Appetites – Tomatoes

  1. October 10, 2010 at 16:54

    Tomatoes are one of my favorite things in the garden; I like making salsa with them.

  2. dearieme
    October 10, 2010 at 23:40

    A feast for the eyes. Here’s another.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Beo0cfjuq9E&feature=related

  3. October 11, 2010 at 23:21

    Great looking tomahtoes/tomaytoes Rossa! Don’t know about the jam, but I bet those Marmandes would be great just thinly sliced with vinegar, salt and pepper and some lovely wholemeal bread and farm butter. Drool …. or on toast. I love fresh tomato on hot toast.
    Congrats on your crop. 🙂

  4. October 12, 2010 at 08:56

    Thanks, lads.

    Twilight, Rossa is currently away on business and so can’t reply but will no doubt do so when she returns.

  5. Rossa
    October 12, 2010 at 10:16

    Hi T, Thanks for dropping in.

    Tomatoes are the best crop this year. Did pretty well in potatoes too! Just realised that you probably won’t see this so I’ll drop in on your blog later on.

    James. Stuck in Manchester waiting for my car to be fixed. Looks like it’ll take 2 days now! If not the propshaft will be the flywheel which is a major job as they’ll have to drop the gearbox out. R

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