never say never! or in my case, never say, "I'm finished canning."
The farmer from whom I purchase much of my produce had a buyer for a large order of organic beefsteak tomatoes back out at the last minute, so my mom bought a bunch. We brought them to my place for processing.
Spaghetti sauce is really easy; it's best to use roma tomatoes, or a meaty tomato; but we had cheap beefsteak tomatoes and my mom needed spaghetti sauce, so that's what happened!
I had a cute helper wash and sort tomatoes.
My sister blanched, shocked, and peeled the tomatoes. Core the tomato; cut an x or a slash on the bottom (for easier peeling). Immerse in boiling water for 2 minutes; remove and plunge into cool water or ice-water. Peel with ease!
Finely blend the peeled tomatoes, and pour into containers (if the containers are see-through, that's even better). Let sit overnight (a tip I learned from the Home Joys blog) so the water will separate from the meat.
The next morning, I scooped the tomato meat out of the containers, and left the water in the bottom. For a few containers, I used a turkey baster to suck the water out of the bottom as I did earlier in the year (this method is slow. I don't recommend it. Just use a measuring cup to scoop the blended tomato off the top!) I let this cook down for several hours while preparing everything else for the sauce.
We got to work chopping onions, carrots, peppers, celery, and garlic (to taste - NO idea the measurements we used). I cooked this in a stockpot for a few minutes.
Mom's Cuisinart food processor sped the process up by about a million percent.
Karissa loves to peel onions. Mom blended up a bunch for me to freeze in baggies, too; this makes cooking easier on busy days! She also shredded a bunch of carrots, which I measured out into recipe-size bags and froze, for making carrot-cake.
Karissa practiced her pull-ups, using a little cheating to climb up the sides of the door-jamb ... I don't think they'll let Mr H get away with that in boot camp!
We mixed in oregano, basil, bay leaves, pepper, salt, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Again, I have no idea the quantities we used - we just kept sampling and sprinkling!
We filled quart jars, leaving 1" headspace, and processed in a pressure canner for 25 minutes, at 10 lbs pressure.
My house smells like a spaghetti factory now! It's quite delicious.
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