Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tomato Sauce

A year or so ago we decided to make our own tomato sauce.  I don't recall exactly how it came about, but I bet it started with a disagreement on what sauce to buy at the store.  I asked a local farm if they'd sell me their reject tomatoes for sauce.  They did, and in the late summer I took home about 40 pounds of tomatoes to make into sauce.  It was lovely stuff.  Rob was so bummed in June when I used the last of it.

We froze the sauce last year, which was great - except that I had trouble stuffing everything I wanted into our small chest freezer.  We researched canning the sauce, even going as far as buying jars, but the tomatoes ran out before we gave it a try.

This year we learned canning.

Action shot (gotta move quick with those hot jars!)
My mother was awesome enough to come down and show us the ropes.  Rob and I had read through all the instructions and it seemed straight forward enough.  But it was so nice to have someone who knew what the hell they were doing with this.

We roasted up and milled two boxes of tomatoes before my mom arrived.  Roughly four quarts of sauce was reheating in the dutch oven (and painting my stove top orange) when Mom arrived.  She inspected our equipment and quickly put us to work.  My tall stock pot had enough room for five pint containers.  It took two batches in the hot water bath to seal all the jars.  Still, in less than two hours we had seven pints of tomato sauce lined up on the counter.  All but one of the jars sealed as they came out of the water.  Ping!  The last one pinged as it was set on the counter.  It was wild watching the contents continue to bubble for several seconds after they were removed from the hot water bath.  (I tried to take a video, but the bubbling was hard to see.)

Not bad.  It almost seemed too easy.  When I froze last year's batch I knew they'd be okay.  These all sealed properly and should last for months on the shelf.  But there's a part of me that's nervous somehow they'll spoil before we can eat them.  So much work to make that sauce!  But I really need my freezer space.

We have another couple of quarts of tomatoes ready for milling and canning later this week.  At which point, if we get any more tomatoes, we may freeze the rest.  It's been a learning adventure.  I look forward to enjoying our hard work all winter.

1 comment :

  1. Good for you! That sounds like time and effort very well spent. I didn't grow tomatoes this year, but I've been thinking about growing some Romas next year and trying to put up a few pints of tomato ketchup for one reason: so I don't have to deal with those narrow-neck plastic bottles for a year.
    Enjoy your lovely sauce!


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