Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Garden Update

I'm feeling a tinsy bit better these days though evenings are still pretty rough and that has meant that I've been able to spend a little more time doing the things I love again, i.e. cooking and some very modest gardening.  This week, it's all about the tomatoes!  Though I only planted 3 tomato plants this year, they've been very productive so I've been working on preserving the harvest for winter.  That means more roasted tomato soup.

Roasted Tomatoes

Soup loaded up with fresh, sweet basil

I can only use so much tomato soup so I also looked into making my own tomato/pasta/pizza sauce from scratch.  Turns out it's a huge pain in the arse involving 15 pounds of tomatoes for just a quart of sauce.  Then there is the blanching and seeding.  That's some crazy work for sauce that costs next to nothing at the store.  (You can check out how to make your own here.)

That didn't stop me though.  I ordered a vegetable strainer attachment for my kitchen aid mixer on Amazon so I could skip all the painful steps of blanching and seeding.  It was surprisingly easy and fast though it did require an amazing amount of tomatoes and involved a long cooking process to get it reduced to the desired thickness I wanted.

The Juicing and Straining Process

I'm very happy with the results.  I ended up deciding to make this batch of tomato sauce (all of one quart) into Pizza Sauce.  I can't wait to use it later this week so we can have some homemade pizza truly from scratch!  Next year I'm definitely going to have to plant more.


Blogger Aliceson said...

Yumm! We must be sharing a brain this week with all of the roasting of tomatoes! Too funny! To grill roast them I made a big pile of hot coals then added a few pieces of soaked hickory wood (Jesse found some in the barn and cut it up for me) on top of the hot coals then put the cut tomatoes (with olive oil and a few cloves of garlic) into a grill safe pan and put it right on the grill grate. I let mine go for over an hour with the grill cover on. They tasted so good with all that smokey flavor!

August 2, 2010 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger sheila said...

I've never had roasted tomatoes! I bet they'd be good with some cheese on top!

I also bookmarked that link you had for the sauce. I almost clicked out but saw that you can use Ziplok bags! WOOT! lol.

August 2, 2010 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hmmm, last year when I made pizza sauce it didn't take that many tomatoes and I got more than 1 quart. I used about 30 tomatoes for 1 pot of sauce which ended up yielding about 8 pints. I only cooked mine down for 2 hours exactly and it made the most refreshing, summery, fresh tasting sauce I have ever had. So very much worth it.

Your roasted tomatoes look great.

August 5, 2010 at 4:21 PM  

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