Homemade Tomato Sauce6:00 AM
This past Tuesday I made tomato sauce. There is nothing like opening a jar of sauce made from your own tomatoes! Especially if it is in January or February and your eating tomatoes from South America that have been flown into the US.
I know I've been complaining about it all summer, but this has been a strange garden year, at least for us here in the Denver Metro area. We had unseasonably cool temps in July and August and a boat load of rain most of it coming three weeks ago. These two jars are the total of the tomatoes that were in my garden, and I had to buy some to actually make this much.
I'll list the ingredients that I put in (because I don't measure, I just taste)-
*Tomatoes, peeled and seeded. I like to use a variety because my cousin says it is "like symphony in your mouth"
*fresh (or dried) basil
*fresh (or dried) oregano and thyme
*red pepper flakes
*any other fresh or dried herbs to taste
A quick, easy way to peel tomatoes is to cut an "X" in the bottom of the tomato, drop it into a pot of boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes. Immediately plunge the tomatoes into ice water. The skins should peel right off. I squeeze the tomato a little to squirt out the seeds. Chunk the bigger tomatoes and put them into a food processor or blender. I pulse to keep it on the chunkier side. Add tomatoes to a nonreactive pot. Mix in the rest of the ingredients to taste and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally, reduce heat to a low-medium and cook for 60-80 minutes or the desired consistency is reached.
While the sauce is cooking, prepare canning jars. Spoon 1T lemon juice into hot, clean jars. Using a ladle, spoon sauce into jars leaving one half inch head space. Wipe jars and adjust lids. Process in a boiling water bath. I boil the jars for 20-25 minutes, but we above 5000 feet. Remove jars from water bath and listen for that satisfying "ping" to indicate the jar is sealed. If you don't hear the ping, test the lid but pushing down in the center. If it "pops" try to reseal it or use in the next two weeks.
I found the original recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. But I have since changed it and added things based on what is in my kitchen at the time of canning. And I've never made a batch that is the same. I'm debating whether to buy more tomatoes at the local nursery or buy sauce as needed this winter when my lone two jars are gone.