Sunset Tomato Jam should have been served at our sunset wedding in cute jars, with a sentimental label, which I would have printed out myself using two different fonts that blend together in harmony. It’s a balanced combination of sweet and heat, and I think it would have represented us well.
Of course the tomatoes would have been grown in my garden and we, the happy couple, would have made the jam together. We would have placed them on distressed pewter trays, picked up at yard sales on one of our leisurely Saturdays with spoons we ordered on line, served with toast points. We would have a Pinterest moment.
That makes me want to spit out my coffee or maybe go hurl.
I love and hate Pinterest because it sucks me into a fantasy life, and ups my desire for more style, while simultaneously, creating even deeper dissatisfaction with my table settings, my picture arrangements, my staircase, my pillows, my wall treatments, and my not so perfectly distressed furniture.
I have one board called white rooms, but how realistic is this for someone like me. Am I pinning for heaven?
I love the food props, the colored twine, the jars, the labels, the imagination, the perfect lighting, the hint of a vintage apron, but do I really live like that?
My pictures on this blog probably create an unrealistic view of our life. No one was there to to see the tomato jam on the floor that plopped and stayed there for twenty minutes until the dog licked it up, because we were out of paper towels.
No one was there to see the three times I went to the garden to get the basil and let it sit on the counter and shrivel to waste. No one was there to see that I didn’t account for the larger tomatoes when I blanched and skinned them and had to use some herculean strength to get that skin off of tomato number 7.
Of course I’ll make you think that I slipped each tomato out of the skin like butter. I’ll make you think that I used raw local honey, when I probably grabbed that New Zealand blackberry honey that Mr. ST insisted we buy in Toronto at $14 a jar, and has yet to eat any of. I’ll even make you think we can afford a $14 jar of honey, when we can’t always afford paper towels. That’s the truth behind blogging. (And, I know it’s not local).
Will someone please tell me the truth behind Pinterest?
Pinterest Creates First World Anxiety
Who are these people that live in these perfect kitchens or sleep in these beyond heavenly beds adorned with pillows that cost more than my sofa?
They don’t live in my neighborhood. Even when I did decorative painting charging $2000 for dining rooms, I didn’t see the glamor and glory of what I see on Pinterest.
Oh, I’m just as addicted to it as you are. I pin and I sigh and I dream. I pin my own food hoping you will too. It does taste good and for a minute or two it does look good, but I want you to know the process behind the scenes can be something I hope the camera never captures and you never find out that I’m just like you.
It’s true that we eat better than most people and we are spoiled with farmer’s markets, and good pans. It’s true that that every single recipe dish you see here is made in my kitchen by my own hands. But, there are back stories you don’t know.
I burn food, I break dishes, I forget to sharpen my knife, and half of my tomato plants never produced more than one harvest.
Now that you know the truth, let me encourage you to spread your wings in the garden, or in the kitchen, and don’t worry that you don’t produce “pinterestable” dishes or photographs. We food bloggers probably have more non-pinterest moments than you may think.
This is a pretty delicious tomato jam. I did grow these tomatoes and basil in my garden. And, all truth telling aside, sunset tomato jam is very easy to make and has all sorts of potential. It jazzed up some Farmer’s Market fresh green beans, and I’m soon to show you how I put it on fish and grits.
I had waited for just the right recipe to pop up in front of my face and when this one from Food Loves Writing was in my in box, I bookmarked it and I put it in a jar just like Shana did, because I couldn’t improve on that idea. It comes originally from Herbivoracious, a cookbook by food blogger, Michael Natkin. We have each added our own adaptation to it, as recipes should really only be blueprints.
I wanted to stay in the spirit of the Tomato Arts Festival recently held in East Nashville. I used all the tomatoes I could find in my garden, which ended up being a mix of golden and red which reminded me of the sunset and did bring me back to memories of our non-Pinterest, yet beautiful wedding.
Oh, the stress of First World Problems. Follow my
fantasy life pinterest boards here. I’ll follow your fantasy life back.
- 2 pounds tomatoes
- ½ cup finely chopped white onion
- 1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha (or hefty dash cayenne)
- Slice off top of tomato. On backside, use knife to draw an x. Place into boiling water for 8 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon. Cool. Peel.
- Chop finely.
- Place in saucepan with basil, honey, salt, pepper, Sriracha.
- Cook for 1 to 2 hours on low until all liquid is evaporated and you have jam.