Tomato season is in full swing around here. The card table is set up in the living room heaping full of tomatoes. I’d post a picture of it but my living room is a little messy, well actually more like a lot messy, and I’m sure you really wouldn’t want to see that. With all the picking and sorting, sauce making and canning, a clean living room just isn’t going to happen.
Before I started growing a large garden with a lot of tomatoes, I rarely canned them. If I did, I usually canned them whole and never made sauce because it just seemed like way too much work and way too time consuming. In fact, had I not read the Heavenly Homemakers blog about a really simple way to make oven roasted tomato sauce, I wouldn’t have canned any sauce at all. Since discovering that, I now make all kinds of sauce.
I haven’t had much of a chance to experiment with making homemade sauces from scratch. With all the warnings about tomatoes nowadays not being acidic enough and it being recommended that you follow tested recipes exactly to ensure proper acidic levels, I’ve found it easier to use premade mixes. My favorite brand of mix to use is Mrs. Wages. One of the family favorites is the Pasta Sauce, it’s so good!
Combining oven roasted tomato sauce and the mixes make sauce making a whole lot easier and more fun. I start out by washing, coring and quartering the tomatoes and putting them in a large roasting pan. Once the pan is heaping full, I put in in a preheated 350° oven for 1 ½ hours until the tomatoes are shriveled up and floating in juice.
I then put them into a strainer to get most of the juice out.
Next, puree them in a blender or food processor. The first year I did this, I used a food processor. It left little bits of skin which didn’t really bother me, but my family didn’t like it. So if you don’t want those skin pieces in your sauce, you will need to blanch and remove the skins before roasting or use a powerful blender that can puree them leaving no bits of skin. After one summer of a lot of blanching and peeling, I found a great deal on a Vita Mix blender and decided to purchase it. It’s been worth it just from the amount of time it saves.
Measure out the amount you need, depending on the number of packets you will be making. I usually make a double batch.
Pour into a big pot and add ingredients according to directions on the package.
Mix and simmer according to package instructions. I find I don’t have to simmer as long since most of the extra juice has already been taken out. Once it’s done, pack into containers to freeze or can. I usually pressure can according to the directions suitable for my canner.
Once I get the card table is empty, there is usually a whole new batch ripe tomatoes ready to pick… so the process starts all over… which means my living room will be messy for a while longer.
Do you have a lot of tomatoes? If so, what are you making with them?