In January/February when I am starting to plan my spring garden, I try to figure out many plants or rows I am going to need to fill all of my family's food needs for the year. I try to figure out how many tomato plants I need to start, to fill all of my tomatoe based products that I wish to make in the fall. I try to grow only heirloom varieties of vegetables. My tomato choices always include Brandywine, and a roma type tomato. And I usually start waaaay to many plants! But I always find ways to cook them up and preserve them.
My tomatoes were picked during the first couple of weeks of September. This year we started off storing them in the garage until about the first week of October. At that time we brought them all into the house to start the ripening. There was no special reason as why we stored them in the garage for a few weeks, except that I wasn't ready to start canning tomatoes yet. With them in the warmer climate provided by being in the house, the tomatoes really started to ripen. One of the products that I like to have on hand is my version of a tomatoe sauce. I use in it all of my pasta dishes and for any other recipe that calls for tomato sauce.
I usually use just roma tomatoes in this recipe. No blanching. No peeling. Equals less work.That is the best part. Give your tomatoes a good wash, and cut them in half. I do this so I don't have to process so long in the food processor.
Measure out about 13 cups of chopped up tomato puree. I usually give my processor a quick rinse and chop up a couple of onions, and a pepper.
In a heavy saucepan, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, chopped onion, and about four minced garlic cloves. Saute for a couple of minutes and than add peppers, the tomato puree, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, bay leaf, parsley and lemon juice.
With a wooden spoon mix well together to incorporate all those good flavours. Simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Pour into your sterilsed jars, and process.
10 cups prepared tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tbsp parsley
2 tsp each of basil and oregano
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c lemon juice or water, or red wine (omit if thickness is preferred)
-scald remove skins cut into chunks ( for a smoother sauce run through a food processor)
-heat oil and saute onions and garlic, stir in peppers, and tomatoes
-add herbs and seasoning simmer for one hour or longer stirring occasionally
-if boils down to much add water or red wine than add lemon juice
-process in a water bath 45 minutes
-makes about 6 pints
Note: I have to say this, so please forgive me: The canning method I use is what I have been doing for years and believe to work best for my family. I am not in anyway against pressure canning nor do I feel my method is any less safe than that of pressure canning. Please use the method you feel safest with as I am not responsible for any mishaps or illnesses.