Sunday, August 19, 2007

Going Back to the Sauce

As you may have guessed, I'm not nearly done with putting up tomatoes for winter, and they're not nearly done with me.

I may have enough salsa tucked away, and though I'd like to make another batch of pasta sauce, I'm ready to move on to nothing but tomatoes.

But before I can devote my time to canning crushed tomatoes, I need to do something else first. Those Amish Paste tomatoes I bought at the farmers' market yesterday couldn't wait, so in between activities with my family, I came home to skin and strain the entire lot into two large pots.

Late this morning, after helping with breakfast at the Inn, I came home to put both pots on the stove to simmer. I let them take their sweet time, getting down to almost half their original volume, before I poured the contents of one pot into the other and headed out for lunch.

After lunch, I fired up the canner, brought the sauce up to a simmer, and waited until I could fill pint jars with thick, deep red, pure tomato sauce.

I processed the jars (five and a half pints' worth) in the hot water bath for nearly 40 minutes, and I pulled them out just before heading down to the theater for a Harry Potter matinee. Good timing!

Part of me would like to make more tomato sauce to have on hand for winter, but I do think that even five pints will hold me for a while. But that's only if I get plenty of crushed tomatoes canned for soups, stews, and curries, so I'd better get busy on that soon.

And if you see me walking hunched over or clutching my back or moaning and mumbling, you'll know that tomatoes are definitely the sauce, er, source of my troubles right now.


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