Friday, February 26, 2010

The tomato sauce odyssey

*this is a pic-heavy post!*

So! Some sauciness!!!

Herein lie the tomatoes. Was pleasantly surprised this time - this big 20 kilo boxes were $22 each, but they are Roma tomatoes! Last time the 'sauce' tomatoes I bought were big round ones with more juice than flesh. (love the 70's carpet, and 70's lino??? Keep an eye out - there's more!)
Next step - I put the tomatoes in a big bowl of water, wash them, then chop them and put the chopped up bits in another bowl. (Roll on moss green tiled splashback and another shade of moss green faded laminate....)

Here you can see half of the chopped tomatoes in my big pot. My stove is pretty annoying - there's not much room for big pots!
This is the post with chopped tomatoes (10kg), 6 big green apples also chopped, 2 litres of white vinegar, 5 cups of white sugar, assorted herbs and spices, and *just* enough room for the 2 kilos of onions that I chopped next. No, there are no pictures of me chopping onions. I was too busy crying and crying and crying. Next time I'm buying pre-chopped frozen onions and to hell with the expense.

This is my tomato puree device. It is awesome. However in my kitchen it is a bit of a PITA. The thing fastens onto a benchtop with a suction pad - but the only place I can really put it where there is space that's LOWER under the end where the sauce comes out is on my kitchen sink. And the draining board is NOT a flat surface that happily takes to a suction cup, so I kind-of have to hold it with one hand while turning the handle with the other....

Here is a dishrack full of washed jars. I will be sitting them in the sink with almost boiling water on them to get them hot again before I fill them. It's a tag team game in my kitchen - with only one sink it gets a bit tricky! You can see I'm using a mixture of FV jars and recycled jars with new lids.

The sauce all cooked down ready for processing through the machine.

A part of the processed sauce, ready for pouring into hot bottles.
Here you can see what's left over after the mix has gone through the machine. This lot is destined for my compost.

You can see here that my canner simply doesn't fit on my stove-top with anything else - so everything has to be done one at a time. When I sell enough craft to buy a new kitchen, I'm going to have a much bigger stove-top with bench space either side so the enormous pots can all fit at once *heaven*

The inside of the canner. I'll be using it as a waterbath only, so I won't use the lid.
The canner filled with jars, and water - I still need a little more in there though!

And the jars after processing. Three of the jars didn't fit in this round of processing - they will go in the fridge, and tomorrow when I do the next lot, I will pop those in too. Obviously, since they will be cold, I'll put them in the canner BEFORE the water starts to get hot, so they can be brought up to temperature first!

That's the first round of tomato sauce. So roll on tomorrow, for the pasta sauce version!


  1. All I can see is you whinging about what you DON'T have, instead of what you do... a roof over your head, a perfectly functional kitchen, and the know how, to supposedly 'simplify' your life!

    Enjoy your sauce!

  2. I am sorry if all you got out of that was me whinging! Shame that you seem to focus on the negativity.
    I like to think of it as planning for improvement *grin*

  3. Who is that idiot?? You were NOT whinging Ali xo

  4. I think you have done an amazing job, given the limited space you have! Well done!!

  5. One day your moss green splashback will be the height of vintage cool again and if you pull it all out you will kick yourself later lol. Enjoy!
    BTW, I have tomato processor envy. I really neeeed one. But I DO have the same canner! it is new so I haven't canned in it yet. I saw the link to your preserving blog on CMs I'm in Adelaide too and will be watching your preserving with interest.

  6. Where do you get the sauce processor thing from Ali? Love it....

  7. Hi Melinda!
    (Not spotted you much lately, I really should check my tweetdeck occasionally *grin*)
    I got my saucey little machine from here in Adelaide. They are a fabulous place to go to get bulk European foods and awesome cooking things... I could spend a fortune there and come home with a truck full of goodies, if I had the fortune to spend *grin*

  8. I haven't been around much lately, been busy (normal I guess, LOL).

    I'll have to have a look for one of those. I've thought of making sauce before but the thought of the skinning and seeding puts me off everytime. We use heaps of pasta sauce as a base for everything and it gets expensive!

  9. I may give it a go this year........I'll see how busy I am with other things in August.

    Gill in Canada