Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Missy's Homestead: Storing up for Winter

Missy's Homestead: Storing up for winter

As I knowingly predicted several blog posts back I am now sitting on a TON of tomatoes.  I love tomatoes and I can put them in everything but I can only eat so many at a time and  I can only chop so many of them into the salad or put on my eggs.  That being said I don't want to waste any.  So where does that leave me?  In a pickle.  What do I do with all these tomatoes?!?   In my break them down and you store them for later use.  

Homegrown tomatoes chopped up on my homemade pesto sauce! 

Last week marked my first exploration into making tomato sauce from actual tomatoes.  I didn't know were to begin or how the heck one would do such a thing.   So I turned to my trusty friend the "interweb" and googled my heart out.  After reading many websites and several different recipes for creating said sauce I decide to combined some of the advice I had red and do my own thing.  

Slicing the bottoms of my Tomatoes
with X's on the bottom
First things first I decided that I was going to remove the skins from my tomatoes.  I scored the bottoms of the the fruit with a little x, sliced away the stem tops and plopped them into a big pot of boiling water for a few minutes.  After they had been boiling for a bit I strained them all out and put them in an ice bath to cool them down quickly.  This made the skins almost fall off.  I pulled each skin off and by the time I was done I had a huge bowl full of skin tomatoes.  Now some people recommended that you remove the seeds but since I was going to blend this all together together I didn't feel like taking the time out to do that too.  

After all the tomatoes were ready I kind of mashed all the fruit together with my hands creating a soupy tomato pulp.  I put all the liquid and pulp together in a very large stock pot and brought it up to a boil.  I turned the heat down to med/low and let it cook for an hour or so.  After it had reduced down quite a bit I turned off the heat and let the liquid cool.  Once the liquid cooled I ran the whole thing through the blender rendering everything equally smooth.  I pulled the top off that blender and you know what I tasted?  Liquid Tomato!! Amazing.  

Now there was no other taste in this juice besides the fruit.  I only had tomatoes so when I get to the point where I want to use this for soup or a tomato based sauce I will need to season the liquid up and possibly add some tomato paste to thicken but other wise I created my very own homegrown tomato sauce!  I was so proud of myself for using up all those tomatoes.  And at the rate the garden is still going I  think I will be doing several more batches to put in my freezer.  

When I lived in NYC I never really felt the need to keep a lot of items in the freezer.  I hardly had any back up foods or homemade sauces.  It feels so good to have a freezer full of home grown tomato sauce.  And now I not only have homemade tomato sauce but I also have several batches of Zucchini soup also grown from my garden.  I have 3 very large freezer bags of cubed squashes, also from my garden and a couple batches of frozen pesto that I made from my garden basil!  I also have a very large amount of homemade chicken stock that I cooked up last winter when I made several roasted chickens.    My little homestead is moving along. 

Okay until next time think good thoughts that I am not overrun by my plants.


Freezer Sauce!

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