Saturday, 7 September 2013

Sungold


If I had to choose just one tomato to grow, it would be this one.  Sungold.  It does well almost every year, outside, and the flavour is great too.  This one is growing in front of an artichoke, and the mauve/orange colour combination draws my eye every time I walk past.  There have been plenty of fruits this year, so I thought I'd try drying some.

I halved them, scooped out the seeds and sprinkled them with a little salt.


Then I patted them with kitchen paper to remove the juice that was drawn out by the salt.  I put them on baking paper and dried them in the oven on the lowest setting for a few hours (four or five), being careful not to make them crispy (the oven door can be propped open a bit if need be).


They were pretty small by the time I'd finished, but the flavour was amazing, really concentrated.  I put them in a sterilised jar (only needed a little one!) and covered them with sunflower oil.


I'll use them in salads, pasta and on pizza.  If I can I'll make more, as they really are delicious.

Elsewhere other things are being put by for the winter.  It makes me happy to see onions and squashes in the garage.



There was a tense moment in the kitchen on Friday.  The fridge stopped working and by the time I noticed, everything was warm.  I rang a bloke, who said turn it off for 48 hours and then turn it back on again.  So I spent Friday afternoon ferrying batches of frozen food to assorted friends to look after for me.  The thought of losing all of the frozen stuff was quite traumatic as it's mostly allotment produce.  It's not just food - I have an emotional attachment to it!  It was produced with the sweat of my brow.  Literally.  I remember one afternoon, doing the watering at about 2.30pm, just before the school run, which was the only spare time I had.  It must have been nearly thirty degrees, and I was sweltering.  Was that only a few weeks ago..?

In the garden I have a new tree.  I may have mentioned how much I love figs and yew trees.  I also have a bit of a thing for mulberries.  At St Fagans, the Museum of Rural Life near Cardiff, there is a walled garden with several beautiful mulberries in the middle.  And I do so want one.  A large tree is rather out of my budget.  So I have this.


A baby tree!  Not sure how many years I will have to wait for one of those ancient looking mulberries.  But hey, I'm a patient gardener.

24 comments:

  1. It's only Mike who eats tomatoes here and he demands Sungold, and only Sungold. Great tip for the drying.. I will try that because this year we seem to have loads!

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    1. They are the best, and it's been such a good year for them. And still they keep coming.

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  2. Next year I'm definitely growing Sungold tomatoes - I keep reading how good they are. I love the squash and onions strung up in your garage like decorations!

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    1. They're the ones to choose I think.

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  3. My outdoor tomatoes are still green so I'm hoping for a few more weeks of warmth to bring them on before the end of the season. I use Nigella's Moon Blush recipe for drying tomatoes - almost the same as yours but with herbs - it's a great way of preserving a taste of summer. Hope you got your fridge/freezer sorted, always a scary moment but especially at this time of year for kitchen gardeners! Great photos, CJ, love the squash!

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    1. Fridge is okay now, thankfully. Great tip to put herbs in with the tomatoes. I've got lots of bigger green ones too, so I do hope there is still a little warmth to come.

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  4. Hope that you freezer is back to normal.

    Wonder how long before you can sing 'Here we go round the Mulberry tree'
    There is a mulberry tree in the exercise yard at Wakefield prison which is apparently where the song originated

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    1. I have heard that. Might be a few years before we're dancing around ours!

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  5. It's been a great year for tomatoes, I'm freezing some of mine for winter use, it will be nice to have a taste of summer in the depths of winter. Hope you managed to get your freezer sorted out, we don't realise how much we rely on something until it breaks down.

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    1. You're right about that, it was such a nuisance. All sorted now though - at least at the moment.

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  6. I'm just catching up here, and you've already made me yearn for the sea and now I'm hungry ... these look soooooooo delicious!

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  7. It's certainly a very popular tomato, and rightly so.
    A plot neighbour has a mulberry tree that fruited really well this year. Flighty xx

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    1. I've heard they grow quite quickly, so hopefully I will fruit in a few years.

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  8. What beautiful photos. Everything is bathed in golden, autumnal light. How utterly wonderful to have your garage and freezer stocked with things you've grown yourself. It will be so satisfying to use those dried tomatoes in the middle of winter and enjoy a taste of summer. x

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    1. It will, I think it will all feel as though it was worthwhile.

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  9. I didn't manage to grow any tomatoes this year and am kicking myself, because everyone else had a bumper harvest, it seems!

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  10. I really like the way you've dried out those tomatoes. I like to use some dried tomatoes and olive oil in homemade bread. Now I know how to dry my own tomatoes too. Thanks!

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    1. That's a great idea, I will be trying that I think.

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  11. Oh wow - they look gorgeous...and I love how you store/dry out your pumpkins.

    Nina x

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    1. Thank you Nina. I'm hoping they'll last a few months.

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  12. I'm so glad that you were able to save all your frozen items! That would be terrible to lose anything, considering how much work you've put into everything. Good to know you have nice friends who will take things in for you:) I bet those dried tomatoes taste amazing!

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    1. It's lovely to have people you can turn to in a crisis. The tomatoes are quite good - the taste is so concentrated.

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