The beauty of long weekends

Two days without work is one thing. Three days is something completely different, and 40+ jars of tomatoes and tomato sauce obviously were not going to be enough. It was time to finish up those tomatoes, time to experiment, and time to have a little fun.

First up were the elephant plums I bought at the farmers’ market on Saturday — they look beautiful and they have a wonderful summer-fall taste.  After careful consideration, I decided to pair them with ginger, and I decided to wing it with the recipe because I really have not got a clue what elephant plums really are. (Edit: After a few internet investigations, I think they might actually be pluots, which are a plum apricot cross. If so, may I recommend pluots as a fruit to jam.)

I’ve had success with other fruits with a 4-3-2 mix (4 cups fruit, three cups sugar and juice of two lemons), so that was what I did, chopping the fruit and adding a half cup of chopped up candied ginger for a bit of a kick. I brought the mix up to a boil until it stopped foaming and let it boil for another 3 minutes or so until I thought I had a set. It’s a little runny, if truth be told, but nothing wrong with that.

And I think I consider this to be success — a glorious deep red jam with a little bit of a bite from the chewy ginger chunks. I think I should cut the sugar next time though. The ginger has sugar after all. It would be a little less of a jam.

From there things moved on at lightning pace as we processed the rest of the tomatoes and saving a few for a peach tomato salsa with a slightly-too-gentle kick. It was also a made up recipe of sorts, in that I took my favorite bits of two that I found online and hoped for the best.

Peach tomato salsa (inspired by the blueberry files and long distance table)

5 cups chopped, peeled peaches (half were ripe, half less so)
3 cups chopped, peeled tomatoes
1 chopped, peeled apple
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp sriracha (1-1/2 tsp would have been better)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar (I used a mix of white and brown)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Mix all ingredients except the cilantro and simmer for 15 minutes or so until thick. Add cilantro, and bottle in hot jars. Water bath 15 minutes.



  1. Sriracha is a good idea for a hot-pepper substitute! (I didn’t put enough jalapeno in my first round of peach salsa)
    As for me, the Jersey can-o-rama has pretty much filled my cupboard. I have canned tomatoes, some creole tomato sauce (nice kick, with Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce), some chili coriander chutney (household favorite), peach jam with ginger, a peach salsa that we didn’t have the energy to cook, so hopefully water-bathing it fresh is ok, also a spicy tomato salsa (ditto) and another tomato salsa that was so vinegary that I turned it into a kind of chutney.
    But I do have a bunch of apples and I would like to freeze some apple sauce. I’ve also had a request to try a curry apple chutney recipe. Hard to believe, but I am about out of jars. We will have to consume some jam, salsa and chutney!

  2. reno21 said

    I have become a great fan of sriracha to add kick to just about anything. It’s a rounder taste than tabasco somehow. I can’t believe it took me til this year to discover it.

    Curried apple chutney is seriously good. Worth doing.

  3. My first batch of non-peach salsa this year was tasty, but way too mild. I went heavy on the chopped, dried Thai peppers for the next batch.

    I’m curious about the sugar. Is it a really sweet salsa or does the sugar just bring out other flavors?

  4. reno21 said

    Looking back on things, the sugar came from the other recipe, although I cut it down to one cup from 3-1/2. I think it brings out the flavors rather than adding too much sweetness. But I also admit I’m a little underwhelmed with the finished product. It’s a little heavy on the cilantro, which from me (a big cilantro lover) is saying something, and it’s light on both the onion and the chilli bite. Maybe I should stick to recipes for salsas until I feel a little more confident about them.

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