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My friend and I have a tradition. We buy 100 pounds of tomatoes and we spend all day making tomato sauce. The last time we did it was our first time, and we learned a lot about the process. It’s a huge project but this weekend the weather was perfect for it. We left the windows open all day and the breeze blew through the house it hovered just under 80 and it smelled like fresh tomatoes and herbs and sweet deliciousness.
Typically you boil tomatoes for a minute to loosen the skin and then throw them in an ice bath to cool so you can peel them, but this is super labor intensive. So I had this idea. What if we roast the tomatoes? On a huge cookie sheet we can process lots of them at once and then while those are cooling we’re loading or peeling the next bunch, like a relay race.

A great canning resource is the National Center for Home Food Preservation.


Line the tomatoes on the cookie sheet (you don’t even have to score them).


Put them in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Let them cool, while you chop herbs or onions- and then peel away.


This time we cut them in half and squeezed out the seedy/watery stuff and let the guts (the good part sauce is made from) drain in the collander.


Having two sets of hands on this project is crucial. I set up a card table in the kitchen so we wouldn’t be in each other’s way while we worked.


First the onions.


Then the oregano and rosemary. (We add fresh basil last so the flavor will be strong.)


The other key time-saving cheat was using an emersion blender. Last time we diced the tomato guts, which was messy and ridiculously time consuming. This time we threw tomato halves in a pot and “vrrrrrrrmmmmm”- saucy.


Then came the water bath.

During this whole process what were the kids doing? We thought about letting them reinact the Hunger Games in the basement- fend for yourselves, kiddos. In the end we came up with something much better.


This girl, was just hanging out. Smiling.


This guy (and his brother), went to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum. With Daddy (who continues to feel better after the back incident) and Mr. Eric and Colin.

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