i spent the weekend alternatively cleaning and processing tomatoes. literally.

at sarah's recommendation i used a Victorio strainer, but i obviously don't know the ins & outs of them well enough because what came out of it was more like juice than sauce. so i froze two quarts of juiced golden oxhart tomatoes marked as 'tomato soup base' and another gallon of juice red ace tomatoes for tomato juice/bloody marys. i could can the juice, but i am not sure if i have it in me—frozen is good enough.

half gallon of tomato juice glistening in a strauss milk bottle

the majority of my effort was consumed in roasting and pureeing tomatoes.
following the advice i found on one of my new blog interests Eating Locally in the Pacific Northwest, i dutifully filled a roasting pan with halved tomatoes sprinkled with salt, pepper, garlic (dried minced garlic in my case) and olive oil. roasted from anywhere to an hour or so, pulled out to cool and then pureed into what i am calling 'roasted tomato base'. at the directions of Sally (from the above blog) the base can be used as it or added to as desired to create whatever you might need pureed tomatoes for: pizza, pasta, tomato soup.

pan number six ready to hit the oven

the finished product of a batch of oxharts

frozen in quart freezer bags i think that i am up to five quarts. i wouldn't mind making that another five over this week (freezing temps are on their way).

for me, i found this method ideal. while the method certainly requires your presence in the house, it doesn't stop you from running to the store real quick or performing other tasks while the tomatoes make their magic under the heat of a 450 degree oven. case in point, while roasting tomatoes i accomplished such feats as scrubbing root vegetables, crating potatoes, juicing melons, planting chard, harvesting eggplant, playing with the pooch and cleaning the house.

other bonuses: the delicious smell of roasting tomatoes wafting through your house and the warmth of the oven on a chilly, rainy fall day.

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