Thursday, May 24, 2012

'Mater Pickin' Time

Ruskin is a large farming community about an hour or so south of us. There is a tomato farm that after the fields have been picked, open it up to U-Pick for the general public. I went last year and picked 30 gallons and made spagetti sauce and it was so good, when they opened the fields again this year, John said he'd like to go with me this time (he was working last year) and do sauce again. So yesterday morning we made the drive south and picked another 30 gallons. Came home and went to work making sauce. It's an all day process to make one batch. I skin and core the tomatoes and the chickens get all the scraps! They love them some 'maters! Then I cut up the tomatoes and let them cook down for at least 4 hours all by themselves in the pot. Their water content is very high and if I did the sauce straightaway, it would be too watery. Once they have reduced the water content, then I add all the other schtuff to the pot for sauce and let it cook down again. I never turned the stove off last night til well past 7 PM. The sauce was too hot to put in plastic Ziploc bags, so I put pot and all in the fridge after it cooled down some and have already bagged it up this morning. I got 6 quart size Ziploc bags from one pot. That will vary a bit from pot to pot, but 6 bags per pot is a good average. I have enough tomatoes to do at least 4 more batches. John has also requested a batch of Sue's World Famous Salsa and even though I told him these are not the best for salsa, he assured me he'd eat it, watery or not, so I'll be making salsa as well! And now it's time for me to head to the kitchen to start today's batch of sauce.

 tomatoes on the vine
 Looooooong rows of tomatoes. They have three huge fields like this. You can just make out the farm stand in the distance where you get your buckets for picking and pay once you're done. (and no I didn't walk all that way! We drove!! I would not have wanted to carry those buckets all the way back.)
 John in the field, ready to pick.
 What 30 gallons of tomatoes look like!
 These two sinks of tomatoes became...
One pot of spagetti sauce with mushrooms and meatballs. I'll do about half with meatballs and half without. The the one without, I will have to do things other than spagetti with. (Lasagna and stuffed shells come to mind!)


anna christensen crafts said...

Ooh, this looks like it was a lovely way to spend sone time Sue, that sauce looks gorgeous xx

jeanne said...


Anita Houston said...

Fun and oh so yummy looking!!!