Concepts create idols; only wonder grasps anything. - St Gregory of Nyssa

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Canning Tomato Sauce

This week we harvested almost 9 1/2 pounds of roma tomatoes from the garden, a few grape tomatoes that were ripe, and a couple of unknown types from Dad's garden. There are many pounds of green romas left on the five plants we planted in the new raised bed.

Yesterday I made tomato sauce and canned it, resulting in two quarts and two pints.

First, I harvested the tomatoes and washed them in the sink in a solution of white vinegar and cool water.

Then I cut off the stem end, cut each one in half, and cut out any white parts. I don't have a photo of that, my hands were too full of tomatoes...

Into my five-quart stainless pot, the largest one I have. I had to start with about two-thirds of the produce first, cook and mash them a bit, and then add the rest in order to fit them all.

Fresh basil, oregano, and flat-leaf parsley were the herbs, along with four dried bay leaves.

A whole, smashed garlic bulb, about 1/4 cup herb-infused olive oil, about 2 tablespoons honey, and about 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt are the rest of the ingredients. I didn't measure anything (I am seriously unable to measure ingredients while cooking), just eye-balled it. (Of course, I treat baking as a science project, and measure everything. At least for the first time I bake a recipe. Then all bets are off.)

Smash, mash, stir, and apply heat.

Cooking down...

Believe me, the stove wasn't that clean when I finished...

I sterilized and heated the jars in the water bath canner.

Washed and sterilized the lids, rings and tops.

That's a kitchen towel we received at our bridal shower - over two years ago. Time flies!

In the meantime, all the sauce went through my much-too-small food mill. I need another, larger one, if I am going to process all the rest of the tomatoes in our garden! Oh, and a larger stainless stock pot. Honey, are you reading this...?

The four jars were processed in the boiling water bath for 30 minutes. I was too busy to take a photo of the canning process (I was making prosphora for today's festal Divine Liturgy at the same time, so I was a bit busy, indeed), but here's the finished product:


 As you can see, I reused a jar, as an experiment - ti's the one on the right in the front. It 'pinged' vigorously as it cooled. I will be keeping my eye on it, though. In fact, all the lids were used once before. All sealed well, and 'pinged'.

There was about 1/4 cup of the sauce left after filling the jars, so I ate it with some fresh bread (that was NOT intended for Liturgy). It was delicate, aromatic, and delicious!

I was inspired by this post, by an American living in Sicily.

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