Sunday, August 26, 2007

one local summer week #9

one local summer meal was just the left over spaghetti sauce that didn't fit in the canner.

this is copied directly from tabitha's blog. it's protected and i thought it was compelling and useful information.

tomato sauce requires a lot of tomatoes. i measure mine using these 3 large bowls i have, when full of fruit they weigh about 15lbs. so i am guessing each time. this most recent batch was 5 bowls, 75 pounds of fruit.

you also must have a pressure canner if you wish to can it. freezing is okay, too.

boil a large pot of water, dump in a bowl of fruit at a time for 30 seconds and remove to cold water. slip of skins and cut out stems or bad spots, and keep the good parts in a bowl.

when all your tomatoes are peeled in this way, fill your biggest and best (thick-bottom!) pot with tomatoes. if, like me, your biggest is not your best, use the smaller better pot and only add what can fit. over medium heat cook them down, have them boiling, and stir often. be careful! the thickness of the fruit can sink to the bottom, air can get trapped underneath and when you stir, it can splatter upwards and burn you causing Confusion and Delay.

as soon as there is room, add more fruit until it is all added. at any point if it is nighttime, turn it off, cover it well and leave it out until morning. as long as it was at a boil when you covered it, it will be fine. uncooked fruit should not be left out. try to add it all on one day. you'll notice there is no need for grinding the tomatoes, they will fall apart. another hint: if the bottom of the pan starts to stick, remove it from the fire immediately and pour it off into a new pan, cleaning the old pan and switching it back. if you get that burned flavor mixed in it is over.

next, continue to cook it down until it is sauce-thick. now it is time to start adding yummy things. my recipe (and while canning manual will tell you it is critical that you never change amounts, they are wrong) changes, but is usually several cups of chopped onions, many a clove (whole, peeled) of garlic, salt and pepper to taste, it will take a lot of salt, two bunches of basil chopped, some oregano, a teaspoon of anise seeds and a dollop of honey. sometimes chopped chard stems, sometimes a bunch of fresh italian parsley, chopped. we eat meat, we add ground beef. a 75-lb pot takes 3 pounds but it doesnt matter if you use less or none or even more. add it raw to boiling sauce or brown it first in a skillet.

once it is all added, bring it back to a boil and have your canning stuff ready. if anyone wants detailed pressure canning info let me know. otherwise cool it and pack it for freezing. or make lasagnes with it all and freeze them. delish!
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