Monday, September 13, 2010

Tomato Sauce

This year I took my first stab at making my own tomato sauce. I was hoping to get this done before we left for the Labor Day trip. It seemed like a really easy process, and overall it was rather easy. It is just very time consuming in the sense that there are lots of pots that are in need of watching and occasionally stirring. The nice thing about making tomato sauce... no peeling! Peeling is not that bad of a job, but the ability to just slice the tomatoes into four sections and throw them into the pot was a great ease in the labor time for this. I started out with around 25 pounds of Roma tomatoes at the beginning.

Once all the tomatoes were sliced up, I placed them into the pot until it could not hold any more. I cooked and mashed them as much as I could, but overall it was a waiting game for them to cook down. Then, I started a second pot. As the tomato slices would cook down in the first, big stock pot, I would add some of the warmed through slices from the small pot behind the big one. Once things were in a good state of cooking down, I ran out of room in the big pot again. From there, I stated ladling out some of the cooked tomatoes into the food mill and then added some from the back pot to the front. It was really quite efficient way to cook that many tomatoes all at once. The next problem I ran into was the largest bowl in the house filling with too much tomato pulp and still having more tomatoes to run through the mill. I ended up having to pour the cooked unprocessed tomatoes into another bowl, washing out the stock pot, and then adding the milled tomato pulp to that pot.

This all seemed to be a good idea until I ran out of room in the stock pot as well. So, I ended up starting the cook down process of the tomato pulp into a nice thick sauce. As space would be made in the pot, I would add more of the milled tomato pulp to replenish the stock pot until it was all finally in there. Then, the long but thoroughly easy job of a slow simmer until the right thickness was reached on the tomato sauce took up most of the night. I ended up starting this process around three in the afternoon and ended around midnight with the cans all popping closed.

In the end, I had nine full pints of tomato sauce. I am really excited to get to try this sometime soon. It is a nice thick sauce that will lend itself well to making pasta sauces or pizza sauce. I did not place any spices or herbs into the sauce, so I can tailor it each time I want to use it for something. Now I can use the sauce for cooking in the slow cooker or making up a quick marinara or even better making a from scratch pizza.

After working with 45 pounds of tomatoes, I was glad to be done with them. I know there are many out there who did more pounds of tomatoes, and my hat is off to you. 45 pounds for the two of us seems like it is going to be more than enough to keep us in the tomato products for the year.

Today I start some more canning. Hopefully the blog can catch up with my current canning soon.

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