We planted more tomatoes this season and we knew that judgement day would come sooner or later and they would need to be processed into winter stores. Today was that day and I spent most of it on the stove when I wasn’t cranking our small but perfectly formed passata machine. The good news and the bad news this year was that the cherry tomato crop failed completely with the blight so I was excused the drying. It’s a shame really because dried tomatoes keep well (as long as they’re completely dried) and they’re a great thing to have in the store to give a touch of acidity and sweetness in other dishes. As for the rest, I processed another 25 lbs of ripe tomatoes today and turned it into 3 litres of passata and four and a half litres of pasta sauce. The passata is indispensible as a base for all sorts of other sauces. Back on the allotment there are at least as many still to go, plus a big batch for chutney as well. Much as we love tomatoes, they can be a struggle to keep up with at this time of year.
While I was cooking the tomatoes Madame was sowing our first batch of indoor basil – we’ve still got quite a bit growing on the allotment but the first sign of frost will see it off. The other herbal revelation this year has been French tarragon which seems to thrive on our plot and is wonderful (the French always knew this) with chicken.
The rain hardly let up all day so we spent most of our time indoors but I’ve got a couple of new books to read and spent a lot of time pondering on Spinoza at the stove. I was very touched by Greta Thunberg’s speech at the UN, and we even sat down to listen to Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at the Labour Party conference during the afternoon. I liked a lot of what we heard but I find the constant emphasis on new technology to solve the related problems of extinction and global heating far wide of the mark. We’ve relied far too much on keeping on doing the wrong thing by hoping some new technology turns up to help clean up the mess. There was no mention of farm subsidies either. We need to stop making the mess now.
After a long break mostly away, we’ve got the Potwell Inn kefir and sourdough production line running sweetly and so here’s a photo of breakfast – the smoothies are a great way of using our frozen spinach cubes.