More growth - tomatoes

on Sun, 03/01/2015 - 23:02

It seems like every morning when I get up there is a lot more growth. Today there's lots of tomatoes popped up. Yesterday a few had just barely broken the surface and now there are more than a dozen standing over an inch tall. What a difference a day makes. I'm growing a few varieties of tomatoes this year. I always do Roma Tomatoes, as they are great for sauce. I love making fresh spaghetti sauce. And of course I need some slicing varieties. I like tomatoes on BLTs and hamburgers and it's always nice to be able to use a nice big fresh tomato from the garden. But I also like to make salsa. As such, I need a good amount of slicing tomatoes. This year in addition to a Beefsteak and Better Boy tomatoes I'm also trying out a Big Mama variety and Delicious variety.

Tomatoes - Feb 28   Tomatoes - March 1

To make the sauce, I get some water boiling with a little salt in it. Then I put in my tomatoes (after washing them and removing the stems, of course). You just want to cook them long enough for the skin to start popping open. Then I scoop them out and put them in a large sheet pan where I can let them sit and cool a bit.

Once they have cooled enough, you can peel the skin right off the tomato. You can also cut them open and scoop the seeds out (apparently seeds are known to cause acid reflux because you can't digest them). I am hoping to get a sauce mill that will remove the seeds and puree the flesh a bit.

Once you have that all ready, the flesh needs to be broken down some. A couple spins in the food processor tends to do the job for me.

Then you can put it in a pot and start heating it up. After you've mixed all your tomatoes together, you'll want to give it a taste. You might need baking soda (cuts down on acid), sugar (adds sweetness), or lemon juice (cuts down on sweetness) depending on your tomatoes. It can really vary. I can do a batch and it need one thing and then a couple weeks later do another batch and it need something else. You can really only tell by tasting it and then adding very small amounts of the item and then tasting again.

I also like to chop up carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, and onion to add to the sauce (I like mine "chunky garden" style). And of course you're going to want to add garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.

It's really surprising how easy homemade sauce is to make. And it is sooooo good!