Last week I harvested 21 pounds of San Marzano tomatoes. I've been procrastinating on picking them because if I did, I needed to be ready for canning. Time must be set aside without interruption. This year was the first time I canned tomato sauce and I'm happy for completing my project.
Here are my organic tomato sauce and I processed 10 pint jars. Can you believe all the tomatoes are in these jars? We already used 2 and I can see why canning can be addicting! I kept it simple by making basic unsalted sauce with lemon juice. The small amount of lemon is for safety canning reasons. I plan on adding whatever seasoning I want to the sauce at the time of cooking. Those are peach barbecue sauce in the front, that's for another post soon. I recently made them with our peach harvest.
I prefer San Marzano over roma. For whatever reason, I get blossom end rot with roma and the fruit are constantly small. My healthy San Marzano plants were productive. The tomato sauce is thick and perfect with the right amount of acidity. Dang, it's yummy! Growing tomatoes from seeds are worth the wait plus you have more variety to choose from.
My handmade labels was fun to work on and they look nice in the pantry. Tags were attached so they're ready for gift-giving too. By the way I don't store jars with the rings because I learned they're susceptible to rust or mold. However, rings were screwed on temporarily for the photo shoot.
Here's what I do before making sauce: Remove the stems and rinse all the tomatoes. Score the bottom of each one with a knife, that will make it easier for the skin to peel off. Plunge the tomatoes in hot boiling water for a few minutes until the skin gets soft. I place the tomatoes directly in my tomato press for making sauce then I cook it in the stockpot. Easy. Time consuming…
Some of the lovely plum tomato sauce, all that goodness from my small garden. It's delightful preserving the garden's bounty. The tomato press has been helpful. It removes tomato skin and seeds. I want to upgrade my gadget next summer since this thing is a hassle to clean. I need something more efficient for a larger batch of sauce so I put a food mill on my Christmas list! :-)
I cooked spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce, herbs and ground turkey. My girl Alyssa likes pasta. Although she's tiny, her appetite is big for a 21 month old.
She had 3 servings and she also wanted my spaghetti plate for lunch! I love it that Alyssa is not a very picky eater.
"Forget the fork mommy, this is easier!" It's a mess whenever we give her spaghetti, she would touch her hair and smear sauce everywhere. Cooking is enjoyable knowing we have a little foodie and my husband's tummy is content. Bryan gives me what we call 'chef's kisses' on my cheeks daily. I find cooking and baking rewarding and that's why I'm always in the kitchen.
Did you grow tomatoes, what kind and did you preserve your harvest? :-)