> jumping into life.

« Home | What magic is there in storytelling but this? The ... » | We had dinner last night with some new friends who... » | On our evening walk some nights ago we passed a sm... » | Notes on an afternoon: 1. A 30-mile bike ride is ... » | bread failure .flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #0... » | Pie number three: blueberry-peach, and with maple ... » | Too hot. » | The bike path begins just behind our house - or I ... » | Corn tassels. Orange tomatoes. Thunderstorms. Home... » | Two days of sun lapse back into chill and rain. We... » 


The weather has turned just cool enough to allow baking and canning in relative comfort; it is the last week for blueberries and peaches, and the end of the tomatoes and sweetcorn can't be far behind.

It turns out that it takes a lot of tomatoes to make any appreciable amount of canned tomatoes, nevermind tomato paste. The economics of the family farm are becoming clearer, and next year we're going to plant a lot more tomatoes. And bigger ones: nobody wants to spend an extra hour peeling a hundred cherry tomatoes to make one measly quart of sauce. Gimme six big beefsteaks and be done with it.

It takes also a lot of peaches to make jam, and peaches ain't cheap up here. When we get land, we're putting in a peach tree. That list, of course, is always growing: asparagus is ever at the top, apples, blueberries to the horizon, grapes. This year we forgot garlic, chard, leeks, sweet peppers, and melons.

There are some tomatoes, some salsa, and some blueberry jam on shelves in the basement. A new crock of sauerkraut and one of pickles on the counter. There are two pounds of blueberries in the fridge and three pounds of peaches in the fruit basket, waiting to become blueberry-oregano (J's idea, and apparently a new one) and (the much more common) ginger-peach jam. Our garden isn't making enough tomatoes at once to can them, and they're a bit pricey at the market. I'm considering calling some farms and inquiring about buying a bushel.

Next year might also be the year for a pressure-canner.

this quote made me cringe: "nobody wants to spend an extra hour peeling a hundred cherry tomatoes to make one measly quart of sauce".

this is what we do. throw every and any tomato into a blender. all sizes, all colors (we have heirlooms that are green and black!!). all you have to do first is wash them off and cut off any brown spots. NO PEELING!!!!! lord no peeling. then pour it into this metal spinner thing:


a few spins, walla!!! the skin and seeds are left behind and you are ready to cook the sauce until its the thickness you want!! 5 minutes tops.

Yes, I never peeled tomatoes though sometimes I blanched them so the skins would come off easier in the hand-cranked food mill. I think the key to maximizing garden space/sauce productivity is to plant 1 cherry/grape tomato to every three salad/eating tomatoes to a half dozen or more Romas or San Marzano paste tomatoes. The latter are much more productive and so much meatier, and don't boil down to juice. (I learned the hard way too, after two seasons of practically steaming the wallpaper off while boiling down tomato sauce!)

Looks like what I need is a food mill. Thanks for the advice, both of you!

Post a Comment