Sunday, August 29, 2010

The weatherman is never right

I'm not sure why I even look at a weather forecast.  Here on the Puget Sound, our weather is affected by so many different things that I'm not even sure why we have weather forecasts!

I had planned on a weekend of sewing since the weather was supposed to be cloudy and rainy... never happened.  We saw some clouds, but there wasn't one drop of rain at Red Gate Farm... and I was really looking forward to no watering in the gardens.

What I did do was make my first batch of tomato sauce of the season. 

This is my sixth summer here on the farm.  This first year I had an overabundance of tomatoes and decided to make tomato sauce.  I had purchased Ball's Blue Book of Preserving (for you Canadian readers Bernardin has a similar book) and it has been my preserving bible ever since.  I admit, the first year I was intimidated by canning and only froze my tomato sauce.  The second year I canned it in a water bath canner, now I use a pressure canner since I can my tomato sauce in little "jelly" jars I can fit 20-some jars in the pressure canner at once, instead of the 3 or 4 cycles it would take in the water bath. 

It's a pretty easy process...

In my largest stock pot (mine is 8 qts), I start with a large onion, 5 or 6 garlic cloves, one large carrot and 2 stalks of celery.  Saute that in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.

I wash, seed and chop LOTS and LOTS of tomatoes.  We're talking 50 or 60 romas.

Cook them down to something like this...

Then the easy part, I puree the tomatoes using a food (or foley) mill.  It removes most of any left over seeds and the skins.  This thing is amazing... if you make fruit butters, applesauce, raspberry jam (not seedless, just less seeds), or of course tomato sauce, it is a lifesaver... no peeling at all.

Back into the stock pot to reduce by about one third... then I just follow my instructions on my pressure canner for sealing.  I mostly use my tomato sauce for pizza, which is why I use small jars.

Fantastic sauce... try home canned some time.

Chris at Red Gate Farm


  1. MMMMM ... that looks so delicious! Did you eat pizza on the weekend? I know what you mean about thinking it's going to rain and you get a break from watering the garden. I have a lot of annuals in pots and containers and in the heat we've been having, they sometimes need to be watered twice daily. It really does feel like a chore sometimes - especially when Autumn is just around the corner.

  2. Yum, that looks good....I have never made tomatoe sauce but I bet that is good with all the extras..also I have never used a pressure cooker...I would like one of the newer ones...safer I think..

  3. Its been years since I made tomato sauce. I remember how good it is on pasta. About 15 years ago my kids used the pressure canner to mix up clay down by the creek. I was scared to used it after that. But I've been thinking it might be time to get a new one...thanks for the inspiration.

  4. HI, great blog. I live in the Pacific North west too. I am hosting a 50 dollar CSN Giveaway. I would love for you to drop by My Dream Canvas.


Please, feel free to leave a comment... it really makes my day! Chris