On the bottle

Three and a half days and almost all the preservation is done….

My kitchen table on Friday morning

My kitchen table on Friday morning

My kitchen table now

My kitchen table now

And in the interim, all this has happened:

And  this:

In fact, I got so involved with the process, I didn’t photograph all the stages. The tomatoes were all made into roast tomato passata, some for the freezer and some bottled (canned). The bottled ones were processed in a hot water bath, which is safe as long as they are acidic enough, otherwise they need to be pressure canned (the threshold is 4.6 and mine were well below at 3.9). I’ve retained some of the passata to make into ketchup, but I need some more jars to store it and those should arrive later in the week, so for now I will freeze it so there is no chance of it going off. As for the peaches, those were peeled (they were so ripe the peel came off without immersion in boiling water) and the stones removed, before being poached in a light syrup and bottled. Again, they were processed in a hot water bath. The left over peel and stones are now fermenting naturally to make vinegar. So, the two processes produce hardly any waste and what is left over goes into the compost.

It’s hard work, but well worth the effort – such a joy over the winter, plus the knowledge that I know exactly what has gone into the food that I’m eating and a reduction in packaging compared to buying tinned goods.

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21 Comments

  1. So jealous of all those peaches! We only get them for a couple of weeks in about June here and they are so expensive!

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    • I’ve only ever managed to get them cheaply enough to bottle once before, but now I know where to buy them at such a bargain price (less than 10 pence each), I will be doing this every year.

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  2. What a cottage industry you are. You could set up a great barter system with that lot.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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  3. Most impressive! Well done and enjoy!! ❤

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  4. Think how happy you’ll be come winter, when you’re enjoying peaches and custard…or whatever you do with them. The bounty and the philosophy are great!

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    • Yo are so right… It’s a great way to have fruit every day through the winter… I love it with yoghurt for breakfast, but I’ve also made four jars of peaches with Cointreau for one or two decadent desserts!

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  5. The Impressive Industry of the Snail! Having done quite a bit of this myself, I know how messy, hot, sticky, stained, steamy and generally hard such work is, but how very satisfying impressive rows of jars can be. I shall be making tomato, garlic and basil sauce shortly, and I’ll be using the pressure canner to avoid the business of having to check acidity. Aren’t they just the BEST gadgets?

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  6. You can also dry the skins and pulp out to make tomato powder and use it to flavour soups and stocks. I guess it was takeaway night at Chez snail? 😉

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  7. I am in awe of what you have achieved! During the process did you ever think “I wish I had left the peaches for next week”?!!

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    • I did begin to question my own sanity… especially by day 3 when I still had a full tray each of peaches and tomatoes and it was Sunday and I wanted to plant some seeds. Anyway, I persisted and I’m pleased with the result… I still have to make the ketchup and bottle the last of the passata (currently refrigerated) but that is much more manageable and I can always delay by freezing if I want to.

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  8. Yum! And peaches with Cointreau. More yum!

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  9. real food. My very favorite type! 😀

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  10. Wow, you have been a very busy bee! Makes me miss my veggie garden ;0) But Oh joy, you will have so much summer on your plate in the cold winter! xo Johanna

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  11. This is all spectacular! But, yikes, you must be exhausted!

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  1. Playing Ketchup | The Snail of Happiness

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