The last few days have been sprinkled not with humor but with the trials and tribulations that comes from being a Mum to a teenage boy.. more so from said teenager who hailed from another Mama and sadly, a pretty unsettled home life. While the teenager in question has returned to *normal* the adults however have been left feeling jaded and wondering what on earth happened... some days I wish there were step parents somewhere to talk to about such dilemmas... soooooooooooo to get myself a little balanced again, I have thrown myself into my domestic bliss... washing linen ready for my oldest son's move next weekend, getting a few things prepared for when his friend arrives this Friday to stay with us until they move, the making of a few loaves of Sour dough bread, some of the best I have ever made actually, I just wished I had remembered to photograph them.. and I also therapeutically chopped tomatoes for my homemade tomato sauce... Everyone loved the last batch.. and when I found some cheapish tomatoes on Sunday at the market, I grabbed them to make this easy and very tasty sauce.
Here is today's sauce experience:
I always put into muslin the spices, it makes it easier to get out after the cooking process, I learnt the hard way the first time.
10grams, whole allspice
10grams, whole allspice
10grams whole gloves,
1/2 stick of cinnamon
Put into a pot with 2.5 kilos of chopped tomatoes, 400 grams of roughly chopped onions, 50 grams of salt and 10 grams of ground paprika.
Cook gently for about an hour until the tomatoes are soft, then add 1 & 1/2 cups of sugar ( I use 1 cup of white and 1/2 a cup of brown) and 2 cups of white malt vinegar..Cook this down until it is nice and thick about 2 hours on a slow simmer.. when you draw the spoon though it, it should leave a *path* with minimal liquid seeping out.
Pull out the muslin with the spices in.. now this is where your meant to put it all in a sieve and mush it to get the smooth pulp.. however I take to it with a stick blender or a food possessor till it is smooth..Season now with pepper if you like, putting cracked pepper in a recipe that cooks for a long time can make it taste bitter, alternately you can put some whole peppercorns in the spice bundle.
Then I pour it into sterile bottles preferably, with metal lids , that have both been washed and popped in the over for an hour on about 100c (200 degree f) You can process in a water bath for about 30 minutes, but I don't bother.. two reasons, it keeps well without it, and in our house it doesn't last long.. This made 3 large bottles and 1 small, however the 3rd large bottle made it's way into a grocery package.