Tuesday, September 29, 2009

score of the century- heirloom tomato overload

Sunday turned out to be a pretty busy day as well.
The morning started with a drive to the Hollywood Farmers' Market off of Ivar. If you haven't been to this market-GO. it is every sunday from 8am-1 and it is definitely worth a visit...top 5 in Southern California.
My friend and fellow Master Food Preserver, Ernest Miller has been working the MFP booth for the past couple months answering questions with LA Master Gardeners. I finally was able to go up to the market and say hello, meet the crew and see what i needed to do, b/c i am taking over for Ernest next Sunday (only one Sunday a month)...more on that experience next week!
While at the market, i was able to meet my friends Ayshea and Robin who were going to be canning with me later that day. We took a quick tour of the market and located a booth filled with heirloom tomatoes. Remember what i said a few days ago about how to get a deal at farmers' markets???
With about 10 minutes left until closing, we went up to the side of the booth where we saw a box of softened tomatoes...these were the ones being sorted by the farmers that were not going to last the day. The conversation went like this:
Ayesha: how much for these?
Farmer: ummm, how about $1 a pound (good price)
(30 seconds later), Farmer: how about the whole box for $5?
A: sold!
if anyone knows ANYTHING about heirlooms, the first thing you know is that they are not cheap-they cost anywhere from $3-6/lb. when we finally weighed the box, it ended being almost 40 lbs...which is around $150 in tomatoes!

Obviously, with that much at that price, you have to do something.

But first we took a visit to the markets latest endeavor, The Farmer's Kitchen. This "extension" of the market sells produce, meals and in the future-education (I know Ernest has already been working with them...maybe i can help!). At the Kitchen, we had fresh teas and lemonade and some tasty egg dishes...a majority of it from the market.
(super good)

back to the canning:
(ayeshea and robin made jalepenos and guava chutney all on their own!)

on the list of things to make: basil jelly, ketchup, marinara sauce and whole canned tomatoes.
first up was the jelly, which was relatively fast and a great thing to show Robin and Ayesha of jellied infusions of which they can make a number of things.
(steeping the basil)

(this what we were working with)

next, the ketchup and marinara. these took up the bulk of our time as the ketchup needs to cook for at least an hour to reduce...along with the marinara, we had all 4 burners going for hours while we watched a few episodes of Project Runway.
(sriracha and lemon grass ketchup....GOOD but HOT)

(ayesha blending the tomatoes so we can strain them for ketchup)

(robin & ayeshea stirring pots of marinara)

(i didn't know about a "jar wrench"...did you??)

after 8 hours of canning, we came out with about 3 cases of product...i was so tired by the end, i had to skip on the pressure canning lesson-i think Robin was a little disappointed (sorry!)
PS i also can't find the rest of the photos from the event, my camera didnt transfer all of the images.

1 comment:

Gustavo Arellano said...

Can't wait to try the ketchup...