Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ending august and beginning september...

we always seem to end the month of august the same way.  tomatoes.  just when i think...there is no way we are going to even get one ripe tomato we are overwhelmed by them.  
we are rushing to squeezo all of the ripening fruits.  this year we are only squeezoing (if that is even a word...is it?) the san marzano and the heinz varieties.  last year (and every year before) we just processed all ripe tomatoes for the puree (we don't make batches of sauce any more because of our new favorite recipe but our first year together i think we made almost 50 pints of sauce.).  anyway, last year rick had made the first batch with only the heinz tomatoes (since that was what ripened first) and the taste was unbeatable and there was so much less liquid.  it was truly an amazing difference.  so we grew a bunch more of the roma varieties for this year.  now we just run them through the squeezo and cook them down a bit on the stove and can them as puree (according to the rules of canning of course).  we found a recipe to make sauce that is pretty much unbeatable (twice in one post, cool!) for taste and speed (unless your puree is very, very watery...then it needs to cook for a bit).  by the way this is one of nahum's favorite homesteading chores to help with, it is his second year of cranking the squeezo for papa!

we also made pesto (for a second time), cooked off some lobsters that a friend had given us, to put in the freezer, watched the hurricane rains from our house and then from our dear friends wedding!!

and if you are still here...the best sauce recipe (we think!).

*1/4-1/2 cup e.v. olive oil (i usually just pour until i think it looks good and i assume i hit it somewhere in this range!)

*garlic - uh, i put any where between three cloves and a whole head depending on my mood and garlic supply.  we just peel and smoosh with knife blade and voila! 

*couple (or more) shakes of red pepper flakes

*tomato puree (either one jar of home canned or store bought works well too-the crushed toms with basil)

*salt to taste-i like course salt the best!

**so what to do...pour the o.o. into the pan and heat a bit over med high heat, add garlic and red pepper flakes until garlic is pretty aromatic (don't burn it, though!).  turn flame down and add the puree (will splatter, beware!!) and salt.  cook for 15 (or more) minutes, depending on how watery the puree is.  when the sauce is thickish it is done.  now...taste it!  super yummy, right?!


  1. Can I come to *your* house Pennie. It looks so cozy there!

  2. wow...i am still editing this post...and here you are...hoping that you will re read with all of the corrections:) and yes, anytime come on over!!!

  3. Beautiful tomato photos. I'm just happy that we have harvested 6 so far!

  4. How did you get so many tomatoes after our raining Maine summer. Mine peetered out and our farm share has been few as well. Lucky YOu!

  5. we have been picking our tomatoes as soon as they are a bit orange-ish...because of late blight (the vines are pretty much all dead)...we really depend on these for our winter food so we have been trying to be as diligent as possible!! we have lost many many many tomatoes this year. and with that last rain more and more have rotted. i don't even know how we got what we got:) i am feeling lucky though:)

  6. Pennie your tomatoes are gorgeous!
    And what a fabulous machine!
    I love the photo of your little one looking out the window, I agree with Kyndale when can we come over!?

  7. We are "up to our elbows" in tomatoes over here too! I never have time to can them.....(I love your squeezo gadget!) I slow roast them in the oven and once they're cool I dump them into freezer bags and deep freeze 'em. I love your pics today! Happy September!

  8. Those are some good looking tomatoes! Great recipe, and we stick with the Romas/San Marzanos for the sauces too, AND are picking them ever so carefully off of our late blighted vines. I'm not canning this year though...too much with Mr. Crawler joining in on the "running circles around mommy while I work" thing! We're fortunate to have a large sub-zero in the basement, so it will be lots of blanched/peeled/seeded frozen beauties to see us through the winter!

    So glad you all made it through the hurricane! I was worried about you guys when I read the sad, sad news from BH.