Sunday, September 30, 2012

28 Sep 2012

Thanks to Nick from Hungary Exchange for always finding such informative info for us to share!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Homade Tomato Sauce - The Old Fashion Way

Step One: Wash Away the Dirt
Every year while growing up, my mom made her own tomato sauce.  It was usually a family event with everyone helping out in one way or another since she made enough sauce to last us until the following year.  Unfortunately I was never interested in making the sauce so I usually ended up cooking dinner which was - you guessed it- pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce!  Once I got married I tried using the canned tomato sauce and we hated it so I began making my own.  It's not hard but it is time consuming so if you plan on making a couple of bushels ask a friend to help.
Step Two: Boil Until Soft
Pick your tomatoes and shop for price and quality.  I got lucky this year - 9.99 a bushel, hardly any dirt to wash off, none spoiled and they yielded me 15 jars per bushel.  They weren't filled with a lot of water either so I kind of regret not buying more.                                                                             Step One:  Wash the tomatoes in cold water as many times as needed to clean the dirt off them.   You can also sort at the same time and remove any that look spoiled.   Step Two:  At the same time get a large pot of water boiling on your burner.  If you are only making a small amount you could use a smaller pot on your stove.  Add some to the water and allow to boil.  You will be repeating this step several times until all your tomatoes have boiled.

Step Three: Drain to Remove Excess Water
Step three:  Once the tomatoes have softened scoop them out of the water and into a clean basket or bushel lined with an old tablecloth.  Put weight on top on the tablecloth so the excess water is drained from the tomatoes and then allow them to cool slightly.  Add more tomatoes to your boiling water.
Step four:  Have your tomato press set up on a table.  I wouldn't recommend using a glass top table.  Set up a large pot or pail below the machine but elevate it so it doesn't splatter everywhere.  Use an shallow pan on the left side to catch the peels and most of the seeds.  Do not throw them out right away as you can normally pass them through the machine a second time but not more than that or it may jam up on you.
Step four: Strain
Step five:  In clean jars add a couple of washed basil leaves.
Fill jars to the neck and then put the lids and covers on them tightly.  Once done line them into a VERY large pot or old metal barrel if you have one and fill with cold water until all the jars are covered.  You should use old towels, table clothes or cardboard around the jars inside to keep them from banging against each other or the sides once they begin boiling or they'll break.  Cover pot with a cardboard. 
Put in jars with Fresh Basil
Bring water and jars to a boil and let boil for another 20 - 30 minutes.  Turn off burner and let cool COMPLETELY before removing them.  I usually wait until the following day.  Store them in a catina (cold room) until you're ready to use it.  You can cook with them immediately if you like but you will get more of a "fresh" taste.  I prefer to use my older sauce first and allow them to age a few months but it's a matter of preference.