Saturday, August 30, 2008
My friend Phantom and I are ROCK STARS! Look what we did!
Okay, maybe we're a little too proud of our (ahem) 11 jars of canned tomatoes, and a little embarassed by how bone-tired we were afterward, but hey, we did it. It made us both intensely grateful that we don't have to spend the entire month of August doing this every day, while keeping track of our kids, without the help of the television.
I want to write a little more about what we did. We started out with about 42 lbs of field tomatoes from Wilson Farms . We were hoping for roma/plum tomatoes, but the ones they had were from NJ, which wasn't quite local enough for us. After some wrangling with the employees about what, exactly, constitutes a bushel of tomatoes (don't ask), I picked out 6 boxes containing approximately 7 lbs each. That was the extent of what I could load into the cart and still keep track of my kids.
Okay, so we started out by dunking the tomatoes in boiling water and then peeling them, quartering them, and cooking them down a bit. Then we ran them through the food mill. We realized at that point that what we were getting was basically tomato juice, which wasn't quite what we had in mind. So we changed horses midstream, so to speak.
At that point we started peeling, seeding and dicing the tomatoes by hand, which we cooked down and eventually combined with the juice/sauce that was simmering away from the first half of the tomatoes.
That makes it sound so simple, doesn't it? You should have seen our shirts, our fingernails, the stove, the floor, the sink, and the quantity of pots, pans, bowls and dishes we used.