Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tomato Sauce, Plain and Not

Over the summer and early fall I accumulated 5 gallons of tomatoes which I stored in the freezer, waiting to be sauce.  I needed a whole day, or at least about 6 hours of uninterrupted time, when I could process them.  Today I had that time.  I brought out all 5 gallons and boiled them until they were soft.  Then I ran everything through the food mill.  And clogged the food mill, more than once.  Very messy, but not as bad as the year when the entire thing deconstructed and landed on the dining room floor.  I work in the kitchen now because the dining room has a rug.  It was a good plan.  Tomato juice actually squirted up to a foot from the mill through the little holes in the screen!

Once the food mill step was completed, I left the juice on the stove and let it boil down until slightly less than half its volume.  That's a LONG time.  But I've found that if I'm not patient, my tomato sauce is watery and then it isn't as good for stews and things.  Ultimately I had 8 pints of sauce.  They were canned in the water bath, so each pint had a tablespoon of lemon juice added.  Four of the pints are plain and four have Persian spices:  lime powder, cumin and coriander.  I got a fair amount of work done while this was happening.  Hooray for multitasking!

These were processed for 35 minutes and then they sat in the hot water for another 5.  Now they're out and cooling.  I haven't had tomato sauce for a few years, and it's nice to have a little in my pantry again.

In other news, I started making yogurt again.  I had a few failures over the summer most likely due to the milk not cooling down enough before I added my starter.  This time it's perfect.  At some point I might try skyr but for now this will do!

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