When life hands you tomatoes….


Make sauce…
I wasn’t sure what this dry, dry summer would bring at the harvest; smaller heads of cabbage, less tomatoes on the vine, stunted carrots… well, happily none of the above. I even had a few bunches of grapes on my baby vines!

I credit the llama manure,and the toppings of straw and lawn clippings that I used to keep the beds covered. We did get about an inch of rain a few nights ago, but at last check we were still about 6 inches below the norm ~ leading to dry wells and brown lawns.

Brown lawn and a green, full garden; I’ll take it. With the air a bit cooler this week, (and Howie away in Jacksonville, Fl. on work) I filled my days working in the garden, harvesting veggies,herbs, and caring for the animals…I also tried my hand at blending Merino wool with KatDoll’s fiber. (I am a spinning fool, some days).
back to te sauce; I made a simple seasoned sauce to be used as a soup base, tomatoes soup, or a pasta sauce beginning…

To begin you need to prepare the Roma tomatoes: 20 pounds or there about…
* no bruised or or overly soft tomatoes please
Boil a big pot of water:
place the cleaned tomatoes, a few at a time in the large pot of boiling water for no more than 1 minute (30 – 45 seconds is usually enough)
then….

Plunge them into a waiting bowl of ice water.
The peels will pull right off.

After peeling the skins off the tomatoes. Removing seeds, and juice is a bit messy, but necessary, or you will have a very seedy, watery sauce, not at all appealing. So just give your tomatoes a squeeze, and scoop out the seeds You don’t need to all crazy about it…just get most. I bet there are neater ways of doing this ,but .. I just give em a squeeze.

Place the tomatoes into a colander or strainer, as you go. letting water to drain; I have a glass bowl under the strainer to save the fresh tomato juices. ( save the juice for cooking or strain and drink cold)

Simple sauce:
saute, in olive oil;
2 cups chopped fresh onions
2 tablespoons chopped celery
3 clove of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons chopped sweet peppers
You want to infuse the chopped veggies with flavor at this point, so keep the heat low and slow, I add sea salt , black pepper, and other seasonings at this point( I usually taste to see what it needs) use the seasoning you like it’s your sauce after all..
As you are sauteing the veggies, have the peeled and squeezed tomatoes softly simmering in your pot with:
3 Tablespoons of oregano
2 bay leaves ( remove these after simmering)
2 Tablespoons diced,fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon Sea salt

Add sauteed seasoned veggies, and continue to gently simmer, let the mixture reduce to a consistency of your liking. I also use a submersible hand held blender to give a smoother texture.
Your kitchen will smell luscious!
Enjoy or freeze for later. I am purposely not recommending this for canning, as I am not certain it has the proper acidity level to maintain freshness.

Be well,
Jess