My father-in-law Denis has cultivated a magnificent crop of tomatoes this summer, and kindly offered me nearly ten kilograms to play with last week.
Dreaming of my own yummy tomato relish in the pantry and aching to stock a few bottles of tomato sauce in my provisions, I strapped on my apron and went all pioneer woman...kind of.
Of course it was less petticoats and log cabin, more shorts and air conditioning at my place, plus I didn’t have to fight off any snakes, but I did have a slight issue with some little black ants.
Naturally I hit the internet and googled a few choice sauce recipes online before I started – checking my favourite celebrity chefs and concoctions claiming to be ‘Grandma’s famous homemade sauce’.
I chose three techniques to consider, focused on the ratios of one and made a few little changes – like using red wine vinegar instead of malt, upping the garlic and allspice and pureeing the pulp to keep it in the final product.
With all those onions, cloves and sweet paprika bubbling away on the stove for hours and hours the house was draped in the most lavish aroma.
At one point I popped out to hang a load of washing and I strapped on my peg bag over my apron…double pioneer woman!
It was hot out there though, making me glad for the modern wonder of electricity which meant I didn’t have to put another log on the fire to keep the sauce simmering or to boil water to sterilise my bottles.
After stirring the pot for the hundredth time, I considered the elements to be at the peak of their readiness and used a little milk jug to fill my warm bottles.
My first five kilos of tomatoes and four hours of work produced a whopping, wait for it, six bottles of sauce.
Oh, those poor pioneer women.
I chose three techniques to consider, focused on the ratios of one and made a few little changes – like using red wine vinegar instead of malt, upping the garlic and allspice and pureeing the pulp to keep it in the final product. .Yolande Grosser
They didn’t have the option of just popping down to the supermarket to pick up a bottle of tomato sauce for $2.50 like I do.
And yet, still, there is priceless value in cooking something from scratch, of which every ingredient is known to you intimately – when the bulk is homegrown.
Now it’s time to put ‘Mum’s Relish Recipe’ to good use.