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How to make (or not make) tomato sauce

Tomatoes on TableThis year, a new phenomenon occurred. I have lots of red tomatoes from my garden instead of green ones. I’ve eaten about a dozen bacon and tomato sandwiches and have given away three or four dozen tomatoes

A friend of mine makes tomato sauce all the time. I read some recipes then asked her if you needed to put lemon juice or red wine vinegar in it if you were going to freeze it to increase the acidity.

She replied: No, absolutely not. Onions, garlic, salt, green pepper, celery, oregano, basil, tomatoes; simmer until thick. Remove seeds from tomatoes first, but you don't need to peel them. Red pepper if you want it. You don't need lemon or vinegar.

Last night about 11 p.m., I set about making tomato sauce. Here’s the method I used:

Tomato Sauce

Two or three dozen tomatoes

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Onions, garlic, green peppers, celery, oregano, or basil, if you like these

  1. Use a slotted spoon to place tomatoes in boiling water for about half a minute. Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl of ice water to cool. Peel. Put the tomatoes in a bowl.
  2. Squeeze each tomato to remove the extra water and extract the seeds. This gets most of the seeds out, but you have to use a spoon and scrape out the remaining seeds from the tomato pieces.
  3. Put the tomatoes in a large pan, add salt, and other items, if you like.
  4. Bring the ingredients to a boil and simmer until the desired thickness.
  5. Wash canning jars and lids in the dishwasher.
  6. Add lemon juice when the tomato sauce is cool.
  7. Put the tomato sauce in the clean canning jars and cap with clean lids.
  8. Freeze.

It seems straightforward, but it was a lot of work. And I made a big mistake. I thought the tomato flesh wouldn’t have enough liquid, so I strained the juice I’d squeezed out of the tomatoes. I added it to the tomatoes before boiling. It made the tomato sauce way too thin.

Needless to say, starting to make tomato sauce at 11 p.m. wasn’t a good idea. It took a couple of hours to prepare the tomatoes. I only cooked the sauce for about an hour, then put it in the refrigerator to finish cooking in the morning.

Tomato Sauce Pints

I got about a pint and a three quarters of tomato sauce.

Stuffed Green Peppers

One good thing, I had a jar of tomato sauce so I could make a new recipe I like with red peppers from my garden, Inside-Out Stuffed Peppers.

This tomato sauce method is way too much work. When looking for information on whether I needed to remove the seeds for tomato sauce, I found a recipe for freezing whole tomatoes. Wash the tomatoes, remove the stem and the tough core material in the middle of the tomato, place whole in a plastic bag, and freeze. According to the recipe, they shouldn’t touch each other so you can peel them individually when you take them out of the freezer to use them.

Copyright 2017, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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