The holidays are over, the tomatoes are nearly all ripe, and I celebrate my first year as a blogger, and the third school year as a working mother, at home.
Now we’re all back to school, I can sit and browse the papers online over a morning cup of coffee again, and remember from my reporter days that newspapers, like everything, mark the changing seasons too. I see that they are once more full of the contradictory musings of female feature writers “I’m so GLAD the holidays are over”/”I’m so SAD they’re over”. It doesn’t escape my notice that no male feature writer has seemingly ever put pen to paper or hit a laptop key celebrating/bemoaning the end of the summer holidays. But of course. It doesn’t make any difference to them. To be honest, until recently, it didn’t make much difference to me either. Our nanny arranged activities and outings, and I still got home just after 6. I suppose there was an advantage in that i didn’t have to supervise their homework, but that was the only real difference in my routine. Now, as you know, I am at home. I’ve enjoyed the holidays – I like being with my boys, but I think we all felt the last week dragged a bit, and to be frank, wanted to get back to the daily routine.
Now they’re back and I’m freeeeee. Sort of. All the things I meant to do over the holidays have just stacked up, and are looking accusingly at me. Not least the greenhouse which is stacked full of tomatoes as you can see. I need to do something with them otherwise what was the point of the whole sewing, transplanting, potting on, watering routine. Cue another picture of my lovely tomatoes. These, in case you’re wondering are Sungold – the sweetest cherry tomatoes you can grow. They love the greenhouse, but I have grown them outdoors, and they seem to thrive there too. The earlier two photos are Giulietta plum tomatoes, which are perfect for roasting and freezing for soup and pasta sauces, and the brilliantly bright Golden Sunrise.
We are fast approaching the time when there are just too many cherry tomatoes to deal with, which brings me to a fab recipe by Thane Prince I have used over the years. It’s a wonderful relish which is particularly good with hamburgers, sausages, and good mature cheddar cheese.
Cherry tomato and onion relish
- 1 kg onions, chopped
- 1 fresh green chilli, deseeded and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon celery seeds
- 400ml cider vinegar
- 1 kg cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 250g white granulated sugar
- Put the onions, chilli, and garlic in a preserving pan. Add the celery seeds and vinegar and bring the mixture to the boil. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the tomatoes. Stir in the sugar and return to the boil. Simmer the relish over a moderate heat for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes soften and the relish thickens.
- Remove from the heat.
- Pot the relish into hot sterilized jars, cover with vinegar-proof seals, and label.
Takes 1 hour and makes about 1.8kg of relish which will keep for up to 9 months in a cool, dark cupboard, a year at a push.