We are having a weekend off from the brick wall. We need to get into the garden, as there are tomatoes and chillis that need to be picked and preserved.
There are also capsicums, cucumbers and the sweet basil is always wanting to go to seed at this time of year, so it needs a good trim, taking all the flowering tops off to encourage it to put on new leaves and shoots.
I picked a 3kg basin of small egg shaped tomatoes. I didn’t select these plants, they were given to me as an unknown variety. I wouldn’t bother with them again. Too much work for so small a return. But they will make good passata sauce.
8 litres of rough chopped tomatoes, in two boilers, gets reduced and concentrated down to just 3 litres of sauce. But its really nice and intensely flavourful sauce. You can’t buy concentrated, intense, organic home made , small batch passata like this. Or if you could. I couldn’t afford it!
The kitchen smells so good. Especially when I come back in from working outside in the fresh air. The intensity of the fragrance hits me. You don’t notice it as much when you are working in amongst it. It becomes common place. You need a break away from it to realise/recognise the true intensity. Just like so many other things in life. Home made passata is concentrated life in a jar.
We need the weekend break to catch up on other jobs too. We have been collecting timber planks to use a scaffolding. There isn’t a single stick of timber that survived the fire here. I used to have loads of stacks of re-cycled lumber, all stacked under cover, just waiting for a time when they would become useful for some job or other. They all burnt.
We have managed to scrounge enough – I think, to do the job, but it all needs to be de-nailed.
It’s all a bit tough on our wrists, elbows and lower back, so we spread our attack over the weekend, a bit each day. It’s all done by Sunday lunch time. We are taking part in the ‘Clean-up Australia’, so need to be all done before that.
I also picked a load of spinach from the garden, so Janine made a couple of spinach and 3 cheese pies for dinner. Ricotta, feta and gorgonzola, extra yummy.
While I finished the de-nailing, Janine was inside milling up the red and green chillis into chilli paste with a little salt and olive oil. This will keep us going for a another year.
Then finally she stews up some pears for breakfasts, later in the week. This is self-reliance.