An urban micro farm experiment. Adventures in trying to live a simple life.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I might need an intervention!

What does a crazy person do on a vacation day?

Make tomato sauce! How do I get to the above point -- dipping a crusty hunk of bread topped with butter into some leftover sauce?

Get yourself organized. For me, that's always difficult.

It all starts with 8 pounds of assorted tomatoes. Use whatever is ripe or almost ripe.

Start by softening up 8 cloves of garlic in 1/2 cup of olive oil. Then set it aside while you dive into the next steps.

Some steps are done simultaneously with others. The jars have been washed and are now in boiling water. This step usually results in burning myself.

After all the jars have been sterilized, they go into a warm oven. Not hot, just warm enough.

Wash your tomatoes.

Score your tomatoes and get them into a basket for blanching to remove the skins. This step also results in me splashing boiling water on myself.

Plunge the tomatoes into cold water and remove the skins.

Here they are....all ready for some fun.

I use my hands instead of cutting them into small pieces. What's the point?

Did I really use this saucepan last year??

I like to use a potato masher to break down the tomatoes.

Add the garlic and olive oil and bring to a boil.

Get the other ingredients ready.

Let it simmer and add all the ingredients except the basil.

After simmering the sauce for maybe 15 minutes, add your fresh basil and continue simmering for another 15 minutes or until you get the thickness of the sauce to your liking.

I left out the messy part of filling the jars....yet another opportunity to splash myself with boiling liquid. Just know that there was sauce on the floor and dripping down my arm.

Place your jars into the hot water bath. Note to really can't arrange the jars in the boiling water WITH YOUR FINGERS!

Cover and let it boil for 35 minutes. Be sure to start cleaning up or you'll never get out of the kitchen if you wait until the sauce is ready to come out of the hot water bath! You DO have 35 minutes after all! (At this point, I ate that piece of bread which is in the first photograph!)

Done! Raise the jars out of the bath.

Grab the little guys and let them rest for 12 to 24 hours. Be sure to splash some boiling water on yourself just incase you haven't hurt yourself enough. You will hear the wonderful "ping" of the caps the second they get out of the boiling water. This is good.

And here they are. I think this is the best batch I have ever made. I don't know why. I used Celebrities, Brandywines, Chocolate Cherries and Roma tomatoes.

This little cooktop sure performs for me. It might be small but it is mighty.

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