We have been here for about a year and a half now and finally ran out of our homemade spaghetti sauce. We tried a can of store bought sauce and I decided either I had to make some more sauce here or give up spaghetti. So today when we went to the farmer’s market on Easy Street, which is where we go now I asked about canning tomatoes. The market is run by a young girl and her husband. He gets the fresh vegetables each day and she runs the market. He was there just bringing in the new veggies so once I explained what it was I wanted she asked him if he had enough boxes of tomatoes for me to have a couple boxes. He said yes, what kind did I want either plum or regular both are vine ripened. His wife had said they were $15 a box which was about my limit so I just said which ever kind was cheapest as I was making sauce with them. He went out back and came back with four boxes of plum tomatoes and asked if those were alright. Of course I said yes as those make the best sauce. In TN those were more expensive than the regular canning tomatoes. He told me I could have them for $12 a box. Even Norman smiled at that. Norman was not too keen on getting into the sauce business again but does like the results so had agreed to do it today if I could get the tomatoes at a good price. In TN they were asking as much as 20 a box for those. It does take longer to peel the plum tomatoes as there are so many of them in a box. Anyways we got started on them as soon as we got home.
Norman blanches the tomatoes while I chop the onions, celery, garlic and measure out the herbs and spices.
The tomatoes go from this pot to the sink where he had the ice water waiting. The jars he had gotten down from the attic and were in the dish washer getting ready for the sauce.
Can’t you see just how happy he is to be doing this again? I am in the next room getting ready to peel them. You can see the sink just behind Norman. You can also see why I have to sit in the dinning room to peel the tomatoes, there just isn’t room for two people and 40 pounds of tomatoes in this small kitchen. We sure do miss our big kitchen in the basement in TN.
From the sink and cold water the tomatoes go into the dish rack to drip dry just a bit, then he puts them on the cookie sheets and brings them in to me one sheet at a time.
One try ready for me. I use the strawberry huller and take out the stem end of the tomato, then peel them, cut them in half and take out the seeds, then chop them up and put them into the big pot with all the onions and spices. When that is about half full we put it on the stove to start cooking, by that time the stove is free from the blanching and Norman is in the dinning room helping me peel and chop tomatoes.
This is my work area. At least I get to sit down to work. Other wise I would never make it through two boxes. As it was we both decided the next time we would do only one box at a time. Two are just a few more tomatoes than we want to work up at one time. I guess we are getting a little slower than we used to be.
This was what was a head of us when Norman came in with his tray full and I had already finished two trays full.
This is the big stew pot, which is now full and on the stove simmering. When we get the kitchen cleaned up we can jar the sauce and process it. We should get about 12 quarts of sauce and 4 or 5 quarts of juice. We stopped after cleaning up the dinning room in order to eat dinner which was about half and hour late but 3:30 wasn’t bad for that many tomatoes. Right now we are both resting our backs and are just about ready to get back to the kitchen to clean that up and can the sauce. I think today we are putting them up in pints as we always use just a half quart for a meal for us and the quart jars don’t fit into my new refrigerator well. Patty will have to use two jars for her meals. I will up date this later and let you know how many jars we got. Have a great day.
The good old days are back in the Petts kitchen!!
Right you are. Patty came to dinner yesterday and we gave her some of the spaghetti sauce. She was very happy as she had no idea we would try to make it here. Next week we will get ONE box and make some more for her and our grandson, Tom. His family loves the sauce also and was very disappointed that we didn’t have any for them at Christmas. I had no idea they like it that much but I can see why. When we ran out we bought a jar and that convinced us we had to make more so I should not have been surprised. Now we have a few weeks that should be quieter. My blueberries are setting well on two of my plants and all three have lots more buds starting to swell. We have been eating lots of blueberries now as the new farmers market we go to has blueberries for sale at a much lower price than any I have seen before so each week I get a box or two to have them on our oatmeal in the morning. When we went on the cruise we did not take our dried berries with us so Norman went a whole week without blueberries and his eye sight went way down. It took almost two weeks to get it back so now we would never go with out them and like to get the fresh one when ever we can no matter what the cost. It sure is worth it.