Slow Sauce

I made my first batch of sauce last weekend.  The tomato plants have struggled along and I needed to do something with what I had but it was not enough.  I went to a farm stand on Saturday and bought a box of “seconds” for $15 and started the 4-5 hour process of making sauce.   A friend of mine wants me to teach her how to can tomatoes so I wrote down quantities and steps this time. Usually I just do it and don’t follow a recipe however it is hard to tell someone else how much of each ingredient to have on hand!

The garlic, onions, basil, oregano, carrots, squash, eggplant, and about a third of the tomatoes are from my garden.  The purchased tomatoes and peppers come from a farm close to Gettysburg, PA so I am saying this is slow sauce.

This process takes awhile and it seems like I use a ton of pots, pans, utensils, etc so the end result is a messy kitchen.  Thank goodness the cleaning crew came on Monday though I am still finding tomato splatters in the kitchen.  The pot is 12 quarts and just eyeballing it at this point, I thought I had 8 quarts.

I finished the process on Tuesday with a hot water canning bath.  And ended up with 9 quarts, I processed 7 quarts as that is the max the canner holds. The rest will go into lasagna as requested by my son before he returns to school.

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Fresh out of the canner

Here is the recipe, documented mainly for my benefit, so maybe I can repeat it!

Tomato Sauce

  • 36 cups peeled and roughly chopped tomatoes.  These were a mixture of Brandywine, San Marzano, Cherokee Purple, Yellow, Beefsteak, Stripey and Amish Paste
  • 1/2 large chopped cayenne pepper (will cut back on this in next batch)
  • 3 large chopped green bell peppers
  • 3 large chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • I small chopped eggplant
  • 1 small chopped yellow squash

I chop everything in the food processor and then sauted it in olive oil until soft. I combined the tomatoes and vegies in the 12 quart pot to bring to a boil.  Then I added the following:  (all the measurements are estimates as I did not measure anything)

  • 6 tbls black pepper
  • 3 tbls onion powder
  • 2 tbls garlic powder
  • 2 tbls smoked paprika
  • 2 tbls cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbls white pepper
  • 1/8 cup pickling sale (no iodine)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped oregano
  • tomato paste, added later to help thicken sauce

I brought this to a boil and then simmered it a couple of hours to reduce.

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BLTs adjusted

We finally have some tomatoes from my garden, it took awhile with rainy May and the chloratic tomato plants I had.  Some I grew myself and some I ordered from a company that is totally devoted to tomatoes but I won’t mention their name (smile) as the plants came in dismal condition.  So we had to get them healthy enough to be planted.

Last night we had BLTs for dinner, the bacon came from Springfield Butcher.  And each of us changed it up a bit as we built the sandwich.  There was the BLT+cheese-cheddar on the first sandwich and pepper jack on the second sandwich.  And the BT+basil, my personal favorite. The last one was BLT x2 with lettuce then tomato then bacon then tomato then lettuce layered between the bread.  I did not take photos-photo fail-again.

Also I made ratatouille with all the ingredients from my garden, eggplants, yellow squash, peppers, onions, garlic, basil, and tomatoes.   Doesn’t get more local/slow food than that!

 

Garden Gate

So we had a bit of a mishap at the community garden.  It appears someone or something hit the gate posts and broke them.  As the community garden coordinator, I arranged to get it repaired.  I found a great handyman not too long ago, he helped me with some repairs on a townhouse that I am looking after for a friend who is active duty and deployed to Europe.  Anyway, the gate would hardly open as the posts wobbled back and forth.  So Joe the handyman had a pretty large job to dig up the posts and concrete so he could replace them.  The gate looks great and works so much better.

The vegie garden is not looking so good, heat and disease are taking a toll.  If we can persevere for a couple more weeks, then the plants should produce through the fall.

The pollinators keep on doing their job.  I see lots of butterflies and bees working away.