Tomato Sauce

When one has access to A) free babysitting and B) large volumes of tomatoes…..you make sauce!!! Here are my happy three pots of sauce bubbling away on the stove.

I only managed to burn myself once, spill a million times and actually finish the day with 20 pints of pure tomato goodness. My house uses this all the time instead of store bought sauce. Note: I don’t season my canned sauce. I prefer a blank canvas to be spiced up later.

How do you like your sauce?

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Tomato Madness

This weekend my husband took Jellybean all by himself to the Kansas State Fair and to see his side of the family. You guys….just between you, me, and the blog….I haven’t had a weekend alone in my own house for THREE YEARS. Since before Jellybean was born, for real.  I’ll let that sink in….and with the recent sleep jihad by Jellybean (we have been to a doctor and we all agree that he’s having legitimate allergy/sinus/bloody nose pain and issues….my baby has to have very minor surgery and it breaks my heart but it will help him and Lord knows we ALL need to sleep better)

But I digress, I had almost the whole weekend! Jellybean got me up multiple times between 4 and 7 am the night before so I decided to be industrious after they hit the road. I pulled seven or eight gallon bags of tomatoes frozen from our summer garden and started simmering tomato sauce. This is most the ingenious thing my grandma taught me. Since my tomatoes didn’t set enough at one time to make batches of sauce we freeze them in bags after being washed and de-stemmed. When you pull them out and dunk them in warm water the skins slough right off and the flesh can go right into the cook pot. There is no blanching or peeling….its amaze-balls!

It was hot and messy but in the end I made 3 1/2 pints of super hot jalapeno salsa for the hubby. And then 12 pints of plain tomato sauce for cooking. I’m sooo happy to be filling my pantry with these goodies for a fresh pick me up mid-winter!

I did a fair bit of knitting as well while the sauce was simmering. I’ll show you that later this week….stay tuned!

Happy Knitting!!

Holy Crap…More Tomatoes

I must be a masochist…or really love my husband. I’m peeling, blending, cooking, and canning 6 more gallon bags of homegrown tomatoes today. All so I can feed his salsa addiction over the winter and possibly give salsa out as Christmas gifts…

At least this cooking day I invested in a stool for the kitchen to rest my swollen preggo feet. Kind of a fool me once fool me twice kind of epiphany, lol.

This should be the last hurrah for my canner this summer and then I’m going to KNIT ALL THE THINGS until jellybean arrives!

Happy Saturday!

FO Friday: Summer Canning

My feet and I survived our canning session last weekend!

What were my spoils you ask?

– 11 pints of brown sugar/cinnamon apple sauce
– 5 full pints and 11 1/2 pints of apple jelly

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And 16 glorious pints of tomato sauce!!

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I’d still like to put up more salsa and tomato sauce but that will be schedule and pregnancy permitting. Just going with the flow at this point!

What’s in your canner lately?

The Day of The Tomato

My family has a ridiculously large garden. And I’m blessed to reap the rewards. Right now I have 8 gallon bags of frozen home grown delicious tomatoes in my freezer. Ripe and ready to hit the sauce pot. And that is literally just the tip of the iceberg so to speak of what the plants produced.

I learned how to cook, season, and can my own tomato sauce and salsa last summer. And boy….let me tell you how delicious that was all winter to have yummy jars to cook into my casseroles and crock pot!

Jellybean is growing and growing so I don’t quite have the get up an go of last summer. But my plan is to work slow and steady today with lots of water and sitting breaks. All so I can convert those juicy tomatoes into sauce. It’s a rough day when your food cravings crash against your swollen pregnancy feet, lol.

Wish me luck! I hope to have some good foodie photos to show when I’m done 🙂

Tomato Madness

My family has always grown a HUGE garden. The tomatoes set and produced like gangbusters this year. I have been dying to put up some homemade salsa and tomato sauce. I use so much sauce in my crock pot recipes and the hubby eats salsa by the gallon. But the problem is that I didn’t know how to can either of those.

So over Labor Day weekend, my Grandma and Aunt Janice offered to teach me. It was SOOO much work but it was awesome! I love making stuff in my Grandma’s kitchen. It reminds me of being a kid again.

Start with the freshest tomatoes a garden can produce. Remove skins and seeds leaving only the yummy pulp and juice…

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Pick some yummy green chilies and throw on the grill…

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Roast until toasty and blistery and sweat until skins come off…

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Take tomato goodness and cook down until you have thick saucy goodness…

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Season with yummy veggies and spices and pour into jars and process until sealed tight!

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In 13 hours (over two days with many helping hands) I was able to make 14 pints of tomato and roasted chili salsa and 17 pints of tomato sauce. My cupboard is so happy now!!! I can’t wait to savor these goodies in the winter when everything is cold and dreary.