Getting Saucy - Tomatoes
One of our garden staples is tomatoes. We grow them every year. Once they grow big enough, I pick a few and prepare fried green tomatoes. Then, we wait in anticipation for others to grow and ripen on the vine. My father-in-law came to visit about a month ago from Mississippi. After greeting us with hugs, he walked right outside, picked a ripened tomato, and started eating it right there in the garden. He said, “There’s nothing like the taste of a fresh tomato right off of the vine.”
This year we grew Celebrity tomatoes and Roma tomatoes. We also had some volunteer Black Cherry tomato plants; we grew those last year and apparently a couple of seeds made their way into the ground. We wanted to try our hand at growing Roma tomatoes because they are good to use in making tomato sauces. Although we love fried green tomatoes, eating ripened tomatoes right off of the vine, and cutting up tomatoes for salads, we really wanted to try making our own sauce this year.
From personal experience, I know the amount of effort and elbow grease it takes to process fruits and vegetables through a strainer by hand. I decided to find something that would help expedite and ease the sauce making process. I was given an amazon gift card for my birthday and I used it to purchase the Victorio VKP250 Food Strainer and Sauce Maker. I must say it was worth the $50.00 I spent to purchase it. This food strainer comes with an apple/tomato screen. It can be used to strain apples, berries, grapes, and tomatoes. To process pumpkins, squash, and potatoes, you have to purchase the pumpkin screen. It was relatively easy to assemble and to use. I put the remnants of the tomatoes threw the machine a couple of additional times to ensure I had strained every last drop out of those tomatoes.
One of our boys’ favorite dishes is spaghetti. We decided to use the strained tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce. My boys and I then picked oregano, thyme, basil, and onions from our garden. We added those ingredients along with a little sugar and the sauce turned out perfectly. Next time, I will measure our ingredients so I can post the recipe. Instead of canning, we froze the remaining sauce in some Ball plastic freezer jars. Our boys were so excited to learn they could make the sauce for their favorite dish.