Okay. So, as recently mentioned, a friend of mine and I spent the afternoon canning tomatoes. In the interests of avoiding (a) a lot of extra work, but also (b) a lot of drippy, scalding-hot mess and burnt fingers, I re-jigged my usual tomato recipes so that they involved the Very Easy Crushed Tomatoes recipe which goes as follows (NOTE: You’re going to need 2-3 very large, like 9L+, pots to get all three recipes cooked and canned in the alotted time):
Very Easy Crushed Tomtoes
Wash, core, and rough-chop your tomatoes (also cut out any bad bits, clearly)
Puree the chopped tomatoes in a food processor, in batches and pour them into the biggest pot you have
For every gallon of tomato puree add:
0.5C granulated sugar
1 tbsp salt
Stir the mixture until all is well-incorporated
Cook down, with the lid off-centre to allow the water to evaporate more quickly, until the mixture is darker and quite a bit thicker, but isn’t nearly thick enough to be called “sauce” just yet
Pour/ladel into sterlized glass jars (we sterilized our jars in the oven today, at 225F for 20 minutes – works like a charm, but you still have to boil the lids and rings)
Cap, and process for 15-20 minutes in a boiling water bath
And that’s the Very Easy Crushed Tomatoes recipe.
From here, you can choose your own adventure.
Either (a) Roasted-garlic tomato sauce, or (b) Tomato-peach salsa.
Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce
Start with ~4L Very Easy Crushed Tomatoes
Dice 1 large, red onion and 3 BULBS of garlic, drizzle with oil, and broil on a cookie sheet for about half an hour (or until they smell done).
Put the onion and garlic mixture into a food processor
Add: 2 tbsp dried rosemary, 2 tbsp dried oregano, 2 tbsp dried savoury, and a grind or five of black pepper and blend until smooth
Add the garlic mixture to the crushed tomatoes and stir until reasonably well incorporated
Cook down until things start to thicken up nicely
Using an imersion (stick) blender puree the sauce until it is very fine indeed
Allow the sauce to cook down further until it’s reasonably thick, but not too much
Sterilize some jars of appropriate size (ours went into 1L jars today, but whatever works)
Into each jar include 1tbsp vinegar and 0.5tbsp granulated sugar per 500mL (1pint) of volume
Pour/ladel sauce into sterilized jars
Cap, and process for 15-20 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Start with ~4L Very Easy Crushed Tomatoes
Dice 1 large, red onion and mince 1 BULB of garlic
Peel, pit, and dice your ripe peaches until you have 2L diced peaches (I would guess this is about 1.5lb peaches to start with)
Using scissors, snip 6 mild dried chili peppers (I used dried New Mexico chilies, but you could also dice up 6-10 fresh jalapenos if you wanted to)
Add the peaches, onion, garlic, and dried chilies to the crushed tomatoes and mix until well incorporated
Add to the mixture: 3 tbsp dried cilantro, 3 tbsp dried basil, and 1 tbsp dried red chili flakes
Cook down (over low heat, otherwise it will totally scorch to the bottom of the pot… ask me how I know >.>) until the mixture has thickened up nicely.
While the salsa thickens, sterilize some jars.
Into each pint jar, add: 1 tbsp vinegar, 1 dried very-hot chili pepper (I used dried Arbol chilies, but you could use fresh Thai/Bird chilies if you wanted to).
Pour/ladel salsa into hot, sterilized jars
Cap and process in a boiling water bath for 15-20 minutes
So there you have it.
Five hours. Three types of tomato preserves in large quantities (well, if you’re me…).
Tomorrow it do most if it again in order to make (a) moar crushed tomatoes, and (b) moar (and thicker!) tomato sauce.
Wish me luck, folks!
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 Full disclosure:I actually prefer my tomato sauce to be a fairly thick mix, and today’s results are more liquid than I like. We canned them when we did because my friend had to leave to pick up her kids. Otherwise, we might have let them lose another litre of water-content before canning them.
 Because we’re starting with tomato purree, and also because of time constraints, we didn’t make as chunky a salsa as I typically go for. I’m thinking of this as more of a sauce for cooking things in – like pouring it over fish or beans, for example – than as a sauce for dipping tortilla chips into as a snack. YMMV.
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