we awoke to a chill in the air today. i huddled under my blanket, having already turned off the alarm, and i languished for 5 minutes more before shuffling out of bed to greet the day. dw loves that bite, the coolness that kisses your face and, if you forget a scarf, the hollow point at the base of your throat. it reminds him of upstate new york, of walking to school without a fall (or winter) jacket on, testing the breeze as he ran the distance sometimes.
for the last two weekends i've been putting as much of summer as i can in a jar. no i was not canning, i was making tomato paste, concentrating as much of june, july and august as i could in one pot, simmering, stirring and coaxing 50oz of tomato + flavorings into a messy glorious goop, the end result of which can only be described as an explosion of sunny days that've passed and are gone for another year. the first batch was not vitamixed into a smooth concoction, and as such has been relegated to 2nd class citizen in the fridge, to be used to smear on cauliflower pizza crusts and such everyday use as we hurl headlong into Autumn. the latest batch, much more refined, smoother and lovingly prepared during a 5 hour stove-top make out session resides in the freezer, destined for hearty stews and soups, the secret wow-factor that Winter dishes require in order to survive the months of December to March.
essentially, i took a bunch of tomatoes and reduced it down, similar to what i did to some raspberries back in may when i was preparing nuria's wedding cakes. i followed the guidelines listed here. things to note:
in a bit of olive oil, i caramelized a quarter of a huge onion and a few cloves of garlic, seasoned with a bit of salt + pepper. then i vitamixed the bejesus out of the concoction. i wanted it smooth and velvety.
the first time i used fresh tomatoes and it was a lot, like 3lbs. the second time around i bought the tomatoes already juiced and jarred from my csa stand, about 50oz (2 jars). it made my life so much easier. i vitamixed the tomatoes until it was only liquid.
added both concoctions into a big pot on low heat for about 4+ hours, stirring if i thought about it until it reached paste-like consistency. other than the seasoning of the onions/garlic, that was it.
it reduced down to about a cup. i'm hopeful that this will last me the winter. this is a great way to make use of the over abundance of tomatoes we're experiencing this year.