Monday, September 5, 2011

Saucy Tomatoes

Crazy week last week. Not just with the baby being sick stuff – it’s also a crazy time at work. Which is why I’m in the office today. Yuppers, at work on a holiday. <sigh>

But – I have been productive at home as well as at work. I’ve been doing a lot of canning/preserving over the last few weeks. I’ll try to cover that in posts this week… provided I don’t get sidetracked by sickness or crazy schedules (again).

Check out that pretty, pretty tomato sauce. I picked 42 lbs in one shot from my home garden. Yes, 42 pounds. I chopped the tomatoes into large chunks, ran it all through the meat grinder attachment of my stand mixer (I love that thing) skin, seeds and all (though my tomatoes don’t have many seeds and are mostly meat), and put the pot right under the output. Then I put the raw tomato sauce on the stove on med/low heat to reduce for a while, put it in old Chinese take-out soup containers, and popped them in the freezer. Done. (yeah,  yeah, the containers have BPA, and are not officially freezer approved, blah blah blah, but it works and it’s essentially free)

I love having just plain old tomato sauce on hand for soups, pasta sauce, etc, that I can take out and flavor the way I want when I want. I know a lot of people prefer to have their tomatoes canned as sauces (and salsas, etc) but I like the versatility of the plain. And it’s easier to do now, when it’s hot and I’m busy.

One batch (12 lbs or so) I did make into pasta sauce and canned. I didn’t do much special – added an onion, a bunch of garlic (both of which went through the meat grinder), basil, and oregano, put in a bit too much vinegar (hopefully the sour will calm down…) and canned as normal. In the winter it is really handy to have pasta sauce on hand ready to go, so I may do a few more jars of pasta sauce or plain sauce that I don’t have to thaw. The added effort now, though annoying, is probably going to be worth it later.

How’s your tomato preservation going?

No comments: