Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Homegrown Tomatoes

Oh, my! It's been a fun week in the garden. Between rain storms, I headed to the garden

...and this is what I found.

This beautiful, BeefSteak tomato made incredible tasting BLTs.

The rest became frozen tomato sauce. I used an EASY method my Dad taught me.

Wash the tomatoes, remove the core, cut into quarters and drop into a big pot. We keep the skins for the fiber and nutrients...and because it's much easier! If you prefer you may blanch the tomatoes and remove the skins first. You may also remove the seeds, too. Not this girl, too much fuss.

Now bring the pile of tomatoes in the pot slowly to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat to allow the now nearly-liquified mixture to simmer. Simmer to evaborate off extra water and stir occasionally to check the thickness. This may take several hours depending on the quanitity and water content. When desired thickness is reached, remove from heat and let cool. Ladle into blender and puree. Ladle into freezer bags, mark the date and throw in the freezer.

It's wonderful sauce for pizzas, spaghetti and soups. It will last about 6 months, so if you have more than 6 months worth, you will need to take the canning plunge. I haven't tried canning yet, but hear it's not hard. My pile made 4 pint bags of sauce, which will last us less than a month in the fall, so I haven't yet felt compelled to can. I am, however, toying with the idea because I could then have diced tomatoes.

If you have any experience canning, I would love to hear about it.


Nancy said...

You're on your way to stocking your freezer. You'll love knowing that you're eating home grown goodness this winter. I like the new header by the way.

Sarah H. said...

Learning canning methods is not hard. I canned for the first time last summer (after watching my mother do it for years). I canned tomatoes and salsa last year. Unfortunately, my tomatoes are not as prolific this year and although I've already frozen pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, and tomato soup, I doubt I'll get many more tomatoes. Oh well ... maybe I'll do sweet relish instead because I have a quadrillion cucumbers.

Enjoy the fun!