Ever year or so, I can tomato sauce. It’s one of the more labor-intensive canning projects, but it pays off in superior food all year long.
The first step, after washing the tomatoes (see previous post, “Canning Tomatoes“), is to take out the stems ends and run the tomatoes through the blender.
Then pour into large pots and boil down, stirring continuously.
Fortunately, we had plenty of minions this year to use for stirrers. The boys used a timer to trade off “evenly” with the girls, but they were all heartily sick of the chore before they were done.
In the meantime, we started setting up canners.
The full stove line-up:
Once the tomatoes boiled down to what I call the “blup-blup-blup” stage – the one in which the puree starts looking like lava when it’s boiling and it’s boiled off about 1/3 to 1/2 it’s moisture – then it’s time to pour it into jars.
Full jars – with 1/2″ headspace – ready to have the rims wiped, lids and rings screwed on, and run through the canner.
The way it generally goes, when I am discussing food with a new friend and bring up canning, they generally respond with, “You can buy that at the store, you know.”
Then I invite them over for dinner, or take a dish to a potluck, and eventually I make something for which they want the recipe.
They tell me later that it didn’t turn out like mine. I ask a few questions about their cooking methods, and then about their ingredients. About half the time, it comes down to the quality of their ingredients.
The next year, they ask if they can can with me, but that “I’m only doing a few; I’m not going crazy like you do.”
Typically, I get a call or email about Thanksgiving or Christmas: “We ate it ALL! And there’s no more till next year!!”
The next year, they “go crazy” like I do. And the cycle perpetuates…