Friday, September 2, 2011

Feelin' Saucy - The Tomato Season Version

As I've mentioned Farmer John and I have returned to work. Between working and taking care of the farm when we get home we don't always spend much time preparing meals on weeknights. We like to prep lots of winter meals during the summer. One of the staples around here is anything involving tomato sauce.

Several weeks ago we spent an entire day working up tomatoes and cooking the sauce. Farmer John's Mom and Dad picked up these tomatoes at a local Amish produce auction. They got a great deal on them. We got 7 boxes of perfect Roma tomatoes for the price of 7 jars of sauce at the store.
Farmer John and Migrant Farm-Hand Becky cleaned and quartered the Romas.

Then we all took turns running the tomatoes through the "Squeezo Strainer." The quarters went into the hopper. We pressed them down using a wooden plunger while cranking the handle. The sauce comes out and into a pan while the skins and seeds are pressed out the end and into a bowl.

This contraption was a huge time-saver. Normally we have to blanch the tomatoes to get the skins off. Then we cut the up and run them though the food processor. The Squeezo might be the best thing that ever happened to tomato season.
Let me take a moment to mention a detail from the above picture. I'm wearing my chicken apron. Migrant Farm-Hand Becky made it for me. Wasn't that nice of her? She made a matching one that now lives with our friend Anna in Belize. Hi Anna!

Alright, back to the sauce. We use a recipe from Barbara Kingsolver's book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" as a guide. Since we freeze the sauce rather than can it there is more flexibility with the recipe. Some years we threw in fresh basil, sometimes it was lots of peppers. This year, we actually followed the recipe pretty closely.

We ended the day with four pots simmering on the stove and one pan in the oven. It was a whole lotta sauce.

The following morning we ladled the sauce into bags and then put them in the freezer. We're looking forward to having a burst of summer in our meals this winter.


  1. What a pretty kitchen. I love this post. Wish I had a garden to grow fresh tomatoes. You will have many good meals and memories in the months ahead. Thanks so much for sharing your work.

  2. You could have Emrill Green on the farm making a show about your farm cooking! I love reading these posts Mollie!

  3. Gorgeous and handsome...and so are the tomatoes! I can practically taste the sauce.
    Nice explanation of the "chicken apron", too. Love John's WVU apron. Will he wear that to the game tomorrow?
    Is the grinder, grater, squeezer gizmo something new in the Jennnings Brae Bank Farm kitchen? A work-saving device to be sure.


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