February 2, 2014 at 12:02 am #533556
I’d love the longer fermented rhubarb champagne recipe too please!
Also, can someone please post their chilli plum sauce recipe?February 16, 2014 at 10:44 pm #533557
We brought 20kgs of tomatoes and bottled them on the weekend. 5 x no 31, 7x no 27 and 1x no 21. Plus a bottle of pears. I think this will keep us in tomatoes for about 2 to 3 months.
I had one bottle break! The tomatoes where run through a separator and then boiled for 15 or so minutes, placed in bottles and then into the water bath. When I added cold water to the water bath I heard a crack! Checked all the bottles and they looked ok! But when it was finished there was a cracked Bottle. Do you usually add warm water when the bottles are hot?February 18, 2014 at 6:20 pm #533558
Sadly cold water will crack hot glass, Nick. You either have to wait for your bottles to cool before placing in the water bath, or add warm only water to it. Lucky you only had one break! I had a friend tell me he lost about 20 bottles of passata recently because he had bought new lids for the bottles and didn’t seal them tightly enough. That would make me cry!February 20, 2014 at 5:41 pm #533559
Thanks Mudhen. I thought the fowlers jars where made to withstand heat stress. I got a 13kg box of tomatoes which I will bottle this weekend.February 26, 2014 at 2:33 pm #533560
We bottled another 26 No27 bottles over the last week. Now I’d like to bottle some bake beans, tomato soap or italian tomato saurce using a pressure canner. Does anyone have any recipes?February 26, 2014 at 5:41 pm #533561
I have seen boxes of tomatoes for sale at the local fruit and veg shop and have wondered about buying and preserving. Is it just a case of cooking the tomatoes and then bottling?February 26, 2014 at 6:59 pm #533562
It’s not a hard thing to do, Kristy, but you do have to preserve the bottled tomatoes using a water bath. You can diy with a large stock pot, or use a preserving unit, like a Fowlers Vacola one. I’ve been doing it myself, but have recently been lent a friends Fowlers unit, which I’m looking forward to trying out tonight.
Here’s a good step by step tutorial: http://www.urbanfoodgarden.org/main/processing-garden-produce/peeled-tomatoes/peeled-tomatoes.htmFebruary 26, 2014 at 7:26 pm #533563
Mudhen when I made strawberry jam I just heated the glass jars up in the oven and then poured the jam in up to the job and put the lid on and they sealed. Will this not work with tomatoes?February 27, 2014 at 12:28 am #533564
Kristy post=360361 wrote: Mudhen when I made strawberry jam I just heated the glass jars up in the oven and then poured the jam in up to the job and put the lid on and they sealed. Will this not work with tomatoes?
It’s a different process Kristy. With jams, the sugar acts as a preserving agent, therefore as long as the jars are sterile, it will keep. Similarly, preserves like pickled beetroot etc use the vinegar as the preserving agent. When you preserve fruit/veggies in water or syrup, you need to heat the whole lot up and vac-seal it using a pot/urn like the Fowlers Vacola unit.February 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm #533565fruitfulMember
I’ve had a stove top vacola peserving outfit for a few years now – bought it second hand at a garage sale – it’s yellow and orange and came with an assortment of jars, lids, rubber seals and clips but I’m only just now going through it as I’ve never used it before.
Today is Friday and I’m washing out the jars and trying to match lids and rings etc because tomorrow is a tomato bottling day that has been arranged through the Transitions Towns group in Gawler. I’m hoping to learn a bit more about the unit and process etc (Mum preserved all the time when I was young but I never paid attention!)
I’ve noticed as I’m washing the jars that some have a green tinge to them and some have a black tinge to them. Can someone explain what that’s all about??February 27, 2014 at 6:22 pm #533566
Thanks Bel for explaining.
Fruitful I started looking on Gumtree last night for Fowlers Preserving units and I saw some of those yellow and orange ones advertised quite cheaply, starting from about $50 I think. I’d be keen to hear how you go when you use it and if it is good I might look at getting one myself. Although do you have gas or electricity stove? That may make a difference.February 27, 2014 at 9:39 pm #533567
fruitful – do you have new rubber seals for your FV jars? If they are old, the rubber may have perished, so it’s worth getting new ones. The rubber should be smooth and stretchy. There’s nothing worse than going to the effort to preserve something only to find that the jars don’t seal properly. You can buy them from ozfarmer on ebay, otherwise most Mitre 10 stores sell FV stuff which is easy to get at short notice. I think the different coloured tints are just the particular year they were manufactured – the yellow jars are older I believe.
I’ve got an electric FV unit with a thermostat. I think it’s worth getting one like that for a couple of reasons. One – you can put it on outside/in the garage so it doesn’t heat up your house in the middle of summer. Two – the thermostat will hold the water at the desired temperature so you don’t need to keep monitoring it so closely or use the thermometer. Mine holds 8 jars at a time, so I try to preserve all 8 jars to maximise efficiency if I can. So far this summer, I’ve done pears, plums and peaches in the FV jars. I’ve got jars of rhubarb, apricots, quinces and other fruits that are years old and still perfect! Keep an eye out for jars/preserving units in the Friday Classifies in the Advertiser and at country auctions/deceased estates.February 28, 2014 at 2:42 pm #533568dierichParticipant
I’ve got the basic electric Fowler unit – just fill with cold water and turn it on, turn it off in an hour – couldn’t be easier! You don’t have to use Fowler jars, you can reuse your ‘supermarket’ jars, you just might need to buy some new lids for them.
For those down south, O’Halloran Hill Fruit Mart has 10kg boxes for only $7!! When preserving tomatoes, you also need to add some citric acid (or I think you can add lemon juice).February 28, 2014 at 9:41 pm #533569fruitfulMember
well, finished today, put through I think about 100kg of tomatoes. Didn’t use my stove top unit because the stove was full of pots with different tomato types – sauce, relish, paste and others I can’t think of right now. Someone there had a basic electric unit which was used so it was good to see that. I spent just over 9 hours there with those people and we spent most of the day cutting out bad bits and chopping up the fruit but I did get a fair bit of time in the kitchen and go some hands on experience. They also dried a heap and smoked some so I got to experience that as well. When I left they were really just starting to bottle everything so I’ve arranged to go back tomorrow to pick up my share when the jars are cooled off.
I did have a lot of rings that I bought with the kit years ago that were in really good condition, I think we threw one out that was a bit rough around the edges and I’d also picked some packets of various bits and pieces that I knew I would use over the years.
I think I will check with Mum and see if she still has the book that she got with her stove top unit and copy that out but I will certainly be using my unit in the future.
Kristy, we have electric hotplates here so that will be interesting to use.
I’ve passed by many preserving bottles in the op shops but I wasn’t using the unit then and I have a rule that I’d have to be using more jars than I have sitting around before I can buy some more so I’d better get busy!!
Really pleased with the days results, I’ll try to post a photo or two but I haven’t yet managed to get a picture on here :huh:March 1, 2014 at 12:34 am #533570
Wow, Fruitful, you had a busy day! I would suggest that you buy some new rings to check your old ones against. I’ve used mine a few times now, and have noticed the difference in the size – the new ones are small and less stretchy, and I’ve had to throw some of the older ones out as they weren’t tight enough to seal properly. It’s best to find the most up-to-date Fowlers book you can find, as the instructions have changed over time as they’ve become more aware of what causes things to spoil. The old stove-top units aren’t built to cover the tall jars with water (it would leak out where the thermometer fits in) and the latest info is to cover the jars or at least have the water up to the shoulders. I’d love to find a big electric unit to buy but they are expensive even secondhand. If you are interested in buying some more jars, let me know as I have a friend that I’m meant to be selling some for, but haven’t gotten around to putting an ad on gumtree.
I’ve done about 40 kgs of tomatoes this summer, most made into passata, and as I like mine on the thick side, it takes ALOT of tomatoes to fill a jar. My boys got me 2 x 10kg boxes at Gepps Cross markets last week for $3.50 each, and they were nice tomatoes. The cheapest I’ve ever gotten there is $4/10kg and they were the best tomatoes I’ve ever had. I got 4 or 5 boxes that day, I think the guy selling them to me was new and didn’t know what he was doing! I try not to pay more than $5 per box. I’m going to need to get quite a few more boxes as we ran out of bottles last year around October, and now that I’ve got the electric unit I’ve borrowed, it is that much easier.
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