Saturday, July 4, 2009

Processing Tomatoes on the 4th of July

A long day started with picking the biggest batch of tomatoes we have had so far. In addition, spread out on the counter were tomatoes we let ripen in the house. We had too many to eat, although there is one tomato Luci has set aside for a BLT. No one can touch that tomato. She's threatened us with bodily harm. The most of the rest we processed into tomato sauce using our handy-dandy tomato mill.

Luci bought the mill on Ebay for twelve bucks a few years ago. It is pretty nifty. As you crank the handle the cylinder inside turns with a scraper/smasher, and it separates out all of the skin and seeds from the pulp and juice.
You can do it with completely uncooked tomatoes, but it takes more work to turn the mill. If you quarter the tomatoes and put them in a pot with a little water you can cook them until they are a little a soft, and then the mill is much easier to to turn.
We put the watery tomato sauce in ziplocks and will cook it down when we are ready to use it, but you could go straight from the mill to the best tasting pasta sauce you've ever had. Our older daughter begs us for a glass of fresh tomato juice every time we do this. She even scraped out the pan after we finished.

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