Time To Make the Sauce
Posted on September 05 2018
It is a rite of passage, a way to mark the seasons, a true tell tale that summer is waning and Autumn is around the corner. A time honored tradition of turning summer's bounty in to a form that will carry throughout winter.
It's tomato sauce time!
This year because of several reasons my own tomato harvest wasn't up to it's normal standards so I decided to buy 50 lbs from The Hickories and go that route.
What a beautiful sight! After a quick little bath to get nice and clean off in to a pot of water they would go. My old old school Italian tomato mill likes them a little softer so to get the skins loosened up a little hot water bath is applied.
Then a quick strain and in to the hopper. The mill machine i have is old and amazingly dangerous. The motor + open belt drive system makes is so no long hair or loose articles of clothing is allowed around here or else you can get sucked in and lose a important piece of your body.
The beauty of this machine is it's ability to separate the skin and seeds from the sauce at a quick pace while keeping the splatter and mess to a minimum. Once the waste comes out it can be fed back through the hopper once or twice to get the most liquid from the remains.
Now that you have a few buckets full of sauce it is time to reduce. Some people skip this step and go straight to canning/bagging, but since I soften my tomatoes up in water to begin with they are bloated with more water than when they started so I like to at least remove what I added.
You can make your sauce as thick or thin as you want. If you go too far you can always reconstitute with water - it simply depends on what you plan on making. Soup? Ragu?
When canning be sure to leave a bit more room than I have at the top of your jars - 1/2" will do. Feel free to throw in some citric acid, salt and a basil leaf or two.
Im not going to get in to the canning process here as there are much better and detailed tutorials on that subject - but this is my process for getting to this point.
Happy tomato season!