Friday, August 19, 2011

Ribbon roundup

Thirteen entries for this year's fair, six of which are now sporting ribbons... there are two third place ribbons, one on the wineberry-blackberry-blueberry jam, and one on the still life photo entry, this shot:

(I took that while passing the time at a gig where the spouse was playing music, but i was not. Didn't think it was one of the better photos i'd entered, but it looked like maybe the judges had a thing for peaches in the still life category...)

The berry cheesecake bars had a second place ribbon on; made them with blueberries this time - all the blackberries on the mountain fizzled in the drought, and all the ones in the store had been flown in from unacceptably far away.

There were blue ribbons on the Fitz print (i always knew he was a winner), on my bread, and on my roasted tomatoes.  I canned the last of the tomatoes this way last year, after i finished the tomato sauce, and they were wonderful - this year i skipped making the tomato sauce, and went straight to the roasted tomatoes.

I've been trying to remember where i found the recipe, but it's so simple that i did it from memory this year: chunk the tomatoes (halve for something small like Romas, quarters or even smaller for heftier tomatoes - i like to use a variety of types in each batch) and plunk them on a baking sheet that's been drizzled with olive oil.  Parchment paper is your friend - while it's not essential, it will make packing the tomatoes and cleaning up after much easier.  Pop them in the oven at 425-450F (whatever won't set off your smoke alarm - that seems to be the deciding factor for me) until the skins are a bit crinkly, the tomato chunks are sagging in on themselves, and if you're lucky, there's a little color around the edges where they've started to caramelize.  Transfer to sterilized pint jars, adding in a fresh basil leaf here and there.  When you've filled the jars (don't pack too tightly, just what will fit) top them up with olive oil, leaving appropriate head space.  Put on the lids and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.  You can put them on pizzas, chunk them up a bit for an instant-and-charmingly-rustic pasta sauce, toss them into stews... mmm!


Anonymous said...

Congrats on all of your fantastic entries! I've always been too intimidated to enter but am inspired to try a few things next year. : ) Also, those tomatoes sound wonderful! I've canned whole ones and sauce but never roasted - wow! I plan to try it this year if we get enough to can. Have a batch on the dehydrator now.

Fripperie said...

Last year was the first time i entered anything (and that was mainly to create a deadline for a lingering sewing project), but i've had a lot of fun with it! Wasn't quite sure about entering canned good - there's not lots of extra, and there always seemed to be so many entries, and i'm still new to canning - but i'm glad i did!