Tag Archives: preservation

From Tomatoes To Sauce

I’ve been neglecting this blog for awhile, which I need to remedy. Unfortunately, it’s very busy for me now with the end of my school term looming, after which I get a little break. So I’m going to be cramming as much into the break as possible. However, that’s no excuse for not posting so today I bring you homemade tomato sauce.

Now, let’s be honest here: I didn’t get on the gardening bandwagon early enough for these to be my tomatoes, but it still counts. They still came out of a garden, albeit my grandmother’s garden. This being my grandmother, though, she has no idea what kind of tomatoes they are. one kind she calls “Big Meaty” and the other ones are “Stripey Heart-Shaped.” This is because she saves seeds every year and doesn’t buy them.

So, step one: Pot full of tomatoes.

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Pot full of tomatoes get peeled, roughly seeded and quartered. Now, there are lots of tricks to peeling tomatoes. We just have them resting in hot water and go to it with a knife. Feel free to use whatever trick you want if you try this. 

Step two: Seasoning.

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Further proof that this recipe comes from my grandmother via my great-grandmother: a complete lack of measurements. Also, she likes things sweet, feel free to add whatever you like. Personally, if I can manage to do this not under her watchful eye, I’d be throwing oregano and basil in there. However, this version is as follows. Two handfuls brown sugar, about a half teaspoon of salt, a sprinkling of pepper and about that much dried onion. So, you know, experiment. 

 

Step three, place lid on, and cook on lo heat for anywhere from an hour to three, or until the result looks like this:

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At this point, you can spread it over toast like my aunt, use it on top of a supper shortcake, or in lieu of ketchup, or pizza sauce if you want. It’s pretty versatile. We freeze it as well, because it’s full of tomato goodness without taking up as much room in the freezer as frozen tomatoes. 

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By All Ap-pear-ances

Today, Grandmother and I started the process of canning the pears from our trees. We used open kettle canning, which I literally just found out isn’t recommended by anyone except people who have done it for decades. Oops. This may sound silly, but no one in our family’s ever had stomach issues after eating pears. (I’m the only one whose had stomach issues in ten years, and I hate pears.) 

My hatred for pears aside, it was a good day. It’s probably going to take all week to get all of them done, as we work bucket by bucket. 

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Grandmother is also a lot faster than me at peeling pears. She says I’ll improve and I hope so. I’d like to take over eventually, even if just for my own place. (Control of my grandmother’s kitchen will be wrested from her on pain of death.)

I think part of my problem with the speed was I kept grabbing the “nice” looking pears out of the bucket, but when I cut them open, there were knots and spots that needed to be cut out. What’s true for books is also true for pears: don’t judge a book by it’s cover. 

Altogether, we did 11 quart, neatly packed into 24 ounce jars that once contained store-bought peaches. Somehow, I really like that, being able to use something most people would just toss out. They sterilize just as well as Mason jars. Even with the eleven done, it doesn’t seem like we’ve made a dent in the pears.