Monday, 9 September 2013

busy weekend...

I had Friday off last week, so decided to take advantage of the three day weekend at home. First I headed off to the Holland Marsh Farm market - a gem less than an hour from me. I loaded up a half bushel of cucumbers, a whack of garlic, some fresh dill and a bushel of San Marzano tomatoes.
Friday was pickle day - 19 litres of garlic dills, now safely tucked away until at least Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving is October 14th this year).


After washing the cukes in the washing machine (seriously! I do this every time - cold water wash and rinse, and they come out PERFECT), I boiled up my brine and got to work.

Then Saturday morning I started on the tomatoes. My husband thought a bushel seemed like a lot, but I reminded him of how much they cook down, as well as how much tomato sauce we use. To be honest, this bushel will only last us for a few months - next year I have much grander plans of doing 4-5 bushels...

I first cut them in half, and scatter fresh garlic cloves and basil and parsley from my garden over top, then roast them off a bit.
 
 
I did this to about half - the other half i just do fresh. We grind them through a food mill (here's where having a 14 year old son comes in handy, especially one that competes in shot put - he can do the grinding...)

I tell you, the food mill was the best thing I ever bought. I used to blanch, peel and seed the tomatoes by hand - this little contraption separates the peels and seeds as you go - SUCH a time saving...
 

The whole bushel only gave us 14 litres of tomato sauce. I don't actually can pasta sauce - I find it reduced the acid level too much when you add in too many things, and that can be dangerous to store, so I just can the pure tomato sauce, and make my meat sauce or marinara as I need it. I could make buckets of marinara and freeze it, but our chest freezer crapped out on us while we were away on holidays and we haven't replaced it yet. (No, I don't want to talk about the hundreds of dollars of food we had to throw out, let alone the smell. It was heartbreaking...) I may still do this once we get the new freezer...

3 comments :

  1. I am picturing my home made gnocchi with all that sauce.....

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  2. OMG!! And you work full time. I thought I was busy doing my canning but I'm retired.

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