Thursday, September 27, 2007

What Do You Do With 25lbs Of Tomatos?

You make tomato sauce. Possibly more tomato sauce then a single girl can eat. Possibly more tomato sauce than would fill my bath tub to brimming (my hair may turn a disturbing shade of pink but I will totally covered if ever sprayed by a skunk (or maybe not) (random fact that I can now confirm: Costa Rica has skunks)). In the interest of full disclosure I should admit that this bounty is not the unforeseen result of my tomato growing project – which went well but 2 small plants do not 25lbs of tomatoes make. No, I explicitly signed up to be buried in tomatoes. My CSA offers a tomato share at the peek of tomato season and back in June when, after a winter full of squash and broccoli, I was feeling ready to take on the vegetable world I thought, “25lbs! Great, I’ll make sauce and freeze it for winter! It will be fun!” And it was fun, it was just also overwhelming and since I couldn’t begin until after work lasted until midnight.

Really it’s my mother who should be blamed for this ridiculousness.

I know my mother loves me and all but this is not why she makes and cans roughly 8 billion quarts of tomato sauce each summer. In truth Mom just cannot handle the idea of wasting food. When I was two we moved into the house where my parents still live and mom started her huge garden which, as it has every year since, led to megatons of vegetables. In an effort to do right by the fruits mom turned to a cookbook tomato sauce recipe and heavily modified it to use as many vegetables as possible. This is how the version listed below came to include summer squash. Knowing my mother I’m surprised that she didn’t some how include surplus apples or cucumbers. This sauce is also a great way to lie to children – once you’ve sneaked in every vegetable imaginable and cooked it down into a fragrant red bubble brew put it in the blender and your children will never know how many vitamins you’re forcing on them under the guise of spaghetti. But be forewarned, feed your children homemade and they’ll turn up their noise at every other red sauce save ketchup – one summer of capricious cooking could have you, like my mom, chained to the stove ever August and September for eternity.

My Mom’s Tri County Fair Award Winning Tomato Sauce

1/2 onion chopped
1/4 tsp dried basil (1tbsp fresh)
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp parsley
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped, peeled tomatoes
1-3 summer squashes diced
1 small carrot grated
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
2 tbsp chopped pepper
1 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme

Add the oil and saute the onion, garlic carrot, and pepper. Then add the tomato paste and the herbs and spices and chopped tomatoes. Slow cook at a simmer
for hours. Eat, freeze or can.

The sauce is good if you grew the tomatoes yourself, even better if the herbs are fresh and, obviously, the best if your mom makes it for you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I made sauce last night, too! Only i didn't peel the tomatoes... it took me two hours just to cut the blighters up... ow, my feet... and i didn't add sugar (the finished sauce tastes so sweet, I can't imagine needing it anyway)... but I did throw in mushrooms and summer squash and peppers and celery.