Friday, September 12, 2014

Tomatoes, Tomatoes...Oh My!

Our tomato plants this year just went crazy! I knew I was going I have way to many to just use them for salads or something. So this year I'm making my own tomato sauce. Next year I'm planning on planting onions and cilantro so I can make my own salsa. I know I could buy onions and cilantro and make it this year, but I really want everything to be from my garden when I make homemade stuff. 

Ella was more than happy to help me pick tomatoes.

Look at this started taking over the yard!

Zeke helped too by taking the ones I picked and putting them in the colanders. Of course he picked a few that weren't quite ready!

My little helpers and our wonderful bounty!

Tons of tomatoes!

Next was washing and cutting out the cores. This took longer than I thought it would.

Afterwards I had one giant bowl of tomatoes.

And here were the few that weren't quite red yet. I'm going to let them ripen up on the window sill.

Then it was time to bring out the ol' Oster food processor and get to work! Lots and lots of batches later and all the tomatoes were pureed.

That's a lot of tomato puree!

The next day I borrowed the big canning pot from my friend Kim. I was also steaming the jars in a little water so they would be warm when I put the hot tomato sauce in them. I ended up cooking the tomato sauce for 90 minutes to thicken it up. The house smelled so good even though it was just tomatoes. I thought about adding things like garlic or basil, but I figured that could be done later and this would be more versatile. 

I ended up with enough sauce to fill 7 jars....thanks for those jars Becky

Time to process! It took 45 minutes and when it was time to take them out the lids were popping as I was setting them on the counter. That is the sound of success!!! 

I gave one jar to Kim as a thank you for her letting me borrow the canning pot. So now we have 6 jars of goodness. I probably won't have to buy tomato sauce at all. We don't go through a ton of it...mainly for pizza sauce and taco soup. I'm hoping that next year my tomatoes will be just as good and I can...hahaha get it can do this again! Sorry I couldn't resist!

I'm so happy that two things that grew in my garden this year could be canned. I'm hoping that each year we will be able to do more and more so we'll become more self sustaining! I just need Michael to put in the other raised garden beds!