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Sunday, 16 August 2009

Heffer and the tomato glut

Simon Heffer thinks we will look back on a golden age of food choice in today's Telegraph, and usefully evokes his parents' store cupboard. Our mother, too, was a great storer, and it was at this time of year that the shelves of tomato chutney were laid down.

The past few weeks have seen the excitement of the first toms blushing red into maturity, and the first delicious taste of sun-warm and utterly fresh tomatoes from the vine. Every night since has seen a tomato salad on the table, with balsamic vinegar and a little crushed sea salt. But now I'm sated with fresh tomatoes. There is a kilo sitting in the kitchen already, and today I must pick another four or five kilos from the vines.

So today I'm off to get some vinegar and some Muscovado sugar and will get the big stainless boiling pan out, wash and oven-bake the stack of jars I've been saving all year and get chutney making. I'll let you know the results in six weeks or so.


Blue Eyes said...

Heffer is a miserable sod, isn't he? How could anyone view the amazing array of choice and quality available at every supermarket across the land as being a bad thing?

Mac the Knife said...

One thing I particularly remember about Moscow, is the fabulosity of pickled plum tomatoes. I must and I will. It's time for MtK to acquire the small greenhouse...

Marchamont Needham said...

Most supermarket tomatoes are dreadful acidic things - I never tire of my fresh ones.

But apples, that's another matter - I have three very productive apple trees, and by this time of year I'm ready to get the chain saw out and chop the bastards down.

JuliaM said...

"How could anyone view the amazing array of choice and quality available at every supermarket across the land as being a bad thing?"

Because the common people shouldn't be able to afford such fare. They should be reserved for wealthy journalists and other celebrities.

Otherwise, he might just start to wonder if he isn't as special as he's always told himself over the years...

Elby the Beserk said...

Lost all from our three plants to the blight. Boo hoo.

BigDai said...

Similar problem here too. Care to share your recipe?

Raedwald said...

BigDai - 'base' recipe is

6lbs ripe toms
1lb onions

Chop and simmer until reduced to thick splodge, then add

1/2 pt vinegar
12ozs sugar
herbs, spices to taste

First batch was chilli and paprika, next batch I'm going to add some apple and tarragon. Garlic optional, but use fresh and not paste in oil - no oil in chutneys.

continue simmering until thick splodge. Bottle.