|Tomatoe crazy!! :)|
Typically every fall, my boyfriend's family and I gather for a fun filled, homemade, storm cooking day, to preserve and jar tomatoes. Typical in Italian culture, the family gathers towards this festive event in an effort to not only spend some time together, but to prepare for the winter months. These jarred tomatoes serve as a base for pasta and pizza sauces, soup, chili and more...
It's one of the many things I love most about the fall season. It is such a simple thing to do that anyone can enjoy.
Here is a list of step-by-step instructions for anyone looking to try this process at home.
You will need:
- roma tomatoes (best to get a few days before and let them ripen)
- wash basin
- knives & ladle
- vegetable press
- cheese cloth/pillowcase
- mason jars & lids
- large pot & burner
- Start by washing all of the tomatoes so they are clean and ready to go.
- Be sure to wash your mason jars and lids well so they are sanitary for the sauce.
- Cut all bad spots off tomatoes, then cut into quarters and place in a large pot.
- Boil the quarter slices until very soft (slightly forming a liquid).
- Pour boiled slices into a cheese cloth or pillowcase and strain for 30 seconds to rid tomatoes of excess liquid.
- Pass boiled slices through a vegetable press to separate "meat" from skins and seeds (be careful - the slices will be super hot!)
- Pour processed tomatoes ("the meat") back into the pot and boil until thickened.
- Add approximately a wooden spoon of salt to the boiling tomatoes for flavour.
- While the sauce is boiling, heat up mason jars in an oven (follow mason jar instructions or other jar instructions for the desired heating process).
- Bring jars (keeping them hot) to the boiling sauce pot and slowly pour thickened sauce into jars using the ladle.
- Optional: Add a fresh bay or basil leaf to the jar before sealing.
- It is vital that the jars and sauce stay hot in order to effectively create a seal.
- Cover jars with a blanket until you hear them "pop", letting you know that the seal has been properly created!
- Once the lids have all popped, and the jars cooled, store in a cool dry place.
- Take out as needed, season to taste, boil to thicken and enjoy!