Tuesday, August 26, 2014

You Say Tomato...

I say I have too many tomatoes!

Last week I went to my local farmer's market and bought this huge box of plum and heirloom tomatoes:

At $12 a box, this was a bargain. Especially since I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, which did not involved eating them all before they went bad. I decided to make and freeze tomato sauce!

I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I figured it would take me an hour or two to get everything done. Nope. It took the better part of a day. 8 hours over two days when all was said and done.

First, I washed the tomatoes.

Then I cut off the bad parts and stuck the good parts of the tomatoes in the food processor. This took what seemed like forever, and my hands, feet, arms, and floor were covered in tomato juice.

After blending all the tomatoes, the next step was to cook the sauce for about an hour on the stove.

I had so much sauce that I couldn't do it all in one pot! In addition to the batch on the stove, I had these two containers full of blended tomatoes: 

It also didn't take an hour to cook the sauce. It took two! I wanted to get the sauce to a sort-of thick consistency, which I don't think I really achieved in the end, but oh well.

After the first batch was cooked I had no idea what to do with it, since I needed the pot to continue cooking the second batch. My solution was to pull out my canning pot and pour the cooked sauce into it to cool. Then I put the second batch on and cooked that for two hours. I let it cool, then poured it into the canning pot along with the first batch.

I stuck the canning pot into the fridge over night and the next morning I bagged the sauce and placed the bags in the freezer. Now I have 8 bags (quart size) of tomato sauce in the freezer, plus one mason jar-full in the fridge!

That is a lot of tomato sauce! It took me from 3 pm - 9 pm on a Saturday to do all of this. The most time-consuming part was cutting out the rotten parts of the tomatoes, slicing, and processing. The cooking part wasn't so bad. I let the sauce simmer and went about doing other things around the apartment.

I'm not sure if I would do this again. But I really won't have to, because I'll have tomato sauce for what seems like eternity!

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