So, you already read about why I missed winning any ribbons at this year’s county fair.
I just missed the freaking boat.
Here is what I was doing instead.
I had some rhubarb from my cousin Amy. I had a couple handfuls of blackberries we picked on the farm. And I had some nectarines. I mixed them all together and jammed them and the result is a jam I’m calling The Kitchen Sink.
And I know I always say this but I’m going to say it again. This jam is good. I promise. It’s sweet and a little tart from the rhubarb and there are nice nectarine chunks floating around in it. It’s a delight. And I think you should try some on Saturday.
And while my jam was processing I made a pressed sandwich. Have you ever made a pressed sandwich? If not, you should.
Basically you get a big loaf of bread and scoop out the bottom. Then you pack it full of meat and cheese and delicious extras and you smash it down. And then you cut off hunks of sandwiches for the next few days.
I started with a couple of handfuls of mizuna greens I snagged from Birdsong Farm at the market. Mizuna is delicious. Really peppery and totally kick ass on sandwiches. Then I grabbed the meat (that’s what she said!) and added a couple layers of hot capicola, roasted turkey, and sliced harvarti cheese. I also put in some of my sweet/hot pickled peppers and some roasted red peppers and smeared the pepper juice on the top piece of bread.
I squished it together, wrapped it tightly in saran wrap, and then topped it with cans of beans to press overnight in the fridge.
10 hours later:
When I have time I pack Mike’s lunch for him in the mornings. It’s not an obligation or anything. I am a firm believer in the power of a good sandwich to lift one’s spirits during a hard work day. And besides, when you really love someone it’s nice to make them a sandwich. The best thing about a pressed sandwich – you just hack off a piece, wrap it up and voilà – lunch is packed!
During the sandwich making Mike brought in two baskets of garden stuff. I took a deep breath, ate a piece of cheese, and got to work.
Welcome to a crash course on the lazy woman’s canned tomatoes.
I am not one for blanching and peeling and coring and quartering. And simmering and food milling and cooking. Ugh. Waaaaaaay too much work.
I chop up the tomatoes, cores and all, and dump them in a roasting pan. I toss them with a little olive oil and roast those suckers in a 375 degree oven until they’re soft.
Then I put them through the food mill, bring the “sauce” to a boil, and add the hot “sauce” to hot pint jars and call it a day. I ended up with three pints and I processed them for 25 minutes in a water bath canner.
This simple, roasted tomato base will go on to be used in soups, sauce, stews, shakshuka, quinoa, hodge podge “experiments,” and pretty much anything else that can benefit from the addition of some tomatoey liquid. Quick and dirty and that’s how I like it.
PSA – Tomatoes are juuuuust acidic enough to can using the boiling water method. But tomatoes can vary so a generally accepted “rule” is that you need just a smidge of added acidity. I added 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice (real lemons vary – stick to bottled) to each jar before adding the tomato sauce.