Friday, August 5, 2011

Homemade Tomato Sauce from the Garden

The limb that snapped off, covered in ivy.
My "What's a Girl to do" post is going to consist of home bound activities.  Our poor yard still has four trees down from the micro burst that hit our yard a month ago.  Adding insult to injury, another monster limb crashed down a few weeks ago.  I've been mulching beds trying to use up what my husband has chipped and shredded.  We've left a poor dogwood standing that was hammered by the monster pine that fell, to see if it has a chance to recover.

It's harvest time in the yard!  An annual tradition for me is to make tomato sauce from the garden bounty.  It seemed like just yesterday my little tomato plant seedlings were sprouting and growing in the basement.

"Juliet" Tomatoes and Basil from my garden.
Wow, now it's time to make sauce, something I must have made for the last 15 years.  Last years batch was not very good.  I decided to make a rush batch because it was so horribly hot in the kitchen.  We love having the A/C off and the doors and windows wide open.  This year, it is way too humid to have a door even cracked.  So at least my cooking is more comfortable and the sauce might just be good this year.  You have to be very patient and allow the sauce to cook down.  I'm going on 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  It smells divine.  Garlic, onion, sweet pepper and mushrooms so far in the pot leaving basil, oregano, and thyme to drop in last.  My secret ingredient has just been added - sugar.  To reduce some of that acidic tang from the tomatoes and make it SMOOTH.  I've gotten away from using sugar these days but there is not a good substitute for my sauce.  I've tried Stevia, it's fair, but will only use it 1/2 with sugar.  I really like Agave Nectar for most things but it's not great in sauces and requires a lot of it.  I don't so anything time consuming like remove peelings so I do have to cook it down for about an hour to make it all meld together.

Only the mushrooms are store bought.
May be you will be inspired this weekend to make something from fresh produce.  Many growers would be happy to sell you a box load of paste tomatoes at a reduced price.  Using dried herbs works nearly as well as fresh, just use less than you would with fresh because it is more concentrated.

Happy weekend.



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