Thursday, August 26, 2010

Saucy girl

1 bushel, 3 4-Litre baskets, 2 days and 1 seriously messed kitchen later and I am the proud kitchen mama of 26 pints of tomato sauce!

Last year I canned 13 pints of sauce, thought it was really good and ran out well before tomatoe season this year. I vowed to do more. My garden didn't produce quite enough but I had contributions from my dad's garden and I bought a bushel of roma tomatoes.

I thought I'd get it all done in an afternoon - what was I thinking?! After I filled two bread mixing bowls with pulp, I called my mom for more jars and accepted the fact that I would be taking another day to get it done.

Both my stock pots were filled and took hours to cook down into an nice thick sauce. Then to get two canners on the boil. Of course, if I hadn't been so tired, I might have noticed that the burner under the 7 quart canner was on medium instead of high, I might have finished before 11:30pm. Oh well, live and learn...

None of this would have been possible without the loan of a fabulous tomato press from my good neighbour Eric. Like many of his nice tools, it comes from Lee Valley. All you have to do is wash the tomatoes and cut them in half. The press separates the pulp from the seeds and skin quickly and with very little waste. As a bonus, it washes up well too.

Next year I think I'll stick to beefsteak. Last year's sauce was a little sweeter and beefsteaks, like my Brandywine, are so much easier to press. I wound up steaming the romas to make it easier to get them through the press.

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