What a day! A few very first thoughts, now that I can think again!
Miracle #1 - the temperature! The conditions were suitable for human life (unlike the previous two months....)
Miracle #2 - the tomatoes! And to think Lee and I were a bit concerned when matching people and tomato donor numbers....(thanks to Miracles #3 and 4, see below)
Miracle #3 - Ira and Lisa from the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange tomato delivery service!
Miracle #4 - Darrel Jones from the Alabama tomato delivery service
Miracle #5 - that the venue chosen, and logistical planning, led to a smooth, stress-free, manageable event!
Miracle #6 - Lori, Brian and all of the other incredible volunteers! You allowed Lee and I to really do what you said you would do - show up, taste and talk!
Much more later....
And a recipe below (much requested, and quite delicious...) - thanks to Thom Wiley for providing the goodies at the event, and the recipe!
And....here is a link
to co-host Lee Newman's digital pics from the event, from the Tomatopalooza website.
As requested - Recipe for the Tomato Jam brought to the event
1.5 pounds of tomatoes, before coring (note 1)
These tomatoes can be the ones that are really ripe and going soft.
2-3 chili peppers (note 2) 4 cloves of garlic
1 thumb size piece of ginger (or two if you have small thumbs)
1 1/4 cups of confectioners' / 10-X powdered sugar (note 3)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (note 4)
Optional: add 1/8 cup of balsamic with the red wine vinegar to equal a 1/4 cup
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1) Core and peel the tomatoes
2) Cut the tomatoes into 1/2 pieces (note 5)
3) Peel the garlic and ginger, rough chop into smaller pieces
4) Puree garlic, ginger, chilies and fish sauce
5) Add puree, sugar, and vinegar to a non-reactive sauce pan (stainless is one)
6) Add tomatoes, then slowly bring to a boil
7) Cook 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan
8) Pour into hot, sterilized glass jars and cover with sterilized hot canning lids
9) Follow canning procedures for longer storage, otherwise this way will keep for no more than a month to six weeks max
1) The Trust tomato I used is pretty neutral in terms of balancing acidity with sweetness. Because of this, the recipe is balanced between the amounts of sugar to vinegar. To balance your tomatoes, try adding more of one ingredient than less of the other.
2) How hot you want it depends on you. I used 3 red chilies for the batch today
3) Add more if the acidity is higher
4) Add more vinegar if the tomatoes are sweet.
5) Mine didn't set as well as I hoped because it was just made this morning and probably because I didn't remove the seeds, which added more juice, I suppose. Cooking longer could reduce it, but the longer cooking time may affect the taste.
Enjoy! And thank you all again for your comments.