Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Last week, we had several days in a row of high temperatures (see this post on how much fun that was). The tomatoes thought that was awesome, and all turned red. Together. At once. 

We are happy! Very happy! Happy! Happy! Happy!
If you do not pick us now, we will turn into a horrible stinking mess.
What do you mean, you have other plans? Change them! We are HAPPY!

So this morning, I picked everything that looked like it was about to burst. That came out to 19 lbs.
19 lbs of tomatoes. Three year old child included for scale.
I used to hate making sauce, because it involved having to simmer down the tomatoes for hours, especially if I was using regular varieties instead of paste tomatoes. Now I have a new method, thanks to Cat, which takes a fraction of the time. The key idea was to cook the tomatoes a little first, drain out the released liquid, and only then skin, seed, and turn them into sauce. They require much less cooking that way, which both saves time, and improves flavor.

Wash and roughly chop the tomatoes. Put in pots and simmer until they
release most of their liquid. You are looking for them to become kind of limp,
but not really fully cooked.

Drain the liquid in a colander. This is basically the annoying water
that you have to cook down when you make the sauce. So we just get
rid of it.
The most important part of making tomato sauce is The Machine. The Machine is awesome. It skins and seeds tomatoes in seconds. Before I learned about The Machine (from Cat, of course), I used a regular food mill. It clogged. It was slow. It made me cry. I have no words to describe how much I love The Machine. It changed my life. At least where it comes to tomatoes.
The Machine in action. See, even a three year old can do it! And do it
he did! Video proof.
The stuff that comes out from The Machine basically already looks like sauce. I cook it down just a little, mostly just to heat it through for canning, and then into jars it goes.
Looking saucy!

Turns out 19 lbs of tomatoes (non paste varieties) make three and a half quarts of sauce.
All done! Now let's do that ten times over.

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