Thursday, September 11, 2008

Was it worth it?

After school this morning and a quick trip to Walmart for some pint canning jars, we started processing our 40 pounds of tomatoes.  Jaela twisted the stems off and inspected them, Macey dunked them in water and rubbed them clean, and I cored them and divided them into two pots and two piles.  Jaela and Macey then squished them into pulp with their hands, and I put the tomatoes on the stove to cook.  Anya entertained Isaak.  :)  

Two batches later, I strained the juice out and pureed the pulp, seeds, and skin in the food processor.  I ended up with 6 quarts of juice (for soup), 2 pints of pulp puree (for pizza sauce), and 4 quarts of equal parts juice and puree (for spaghetti sauce).  

Right about then, I decided to quit following the recipe I was using.  :)

I used my JOY OF COOKING cookbook and the label from one of our favorite tomato soups to come up with a recipe for the soup.  Mike came home in the middle of everything, and we adjusted spices and seasonings for the pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce by taste.

I simmered the soup for a LONG time to condense it a little and boost the flavor, so I canned the pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce first, while the soup was still cooking.  After I filled the canner, I made pizza for dinner (should have saved out some sauce to use, but I didn't think of it in time!).  Then after dinner, I finished cleaning up the kitchen while the soup was in the canner.

We started washing the tomatoes at 11:00 a.m. and I took the soup out of the canner at 8:30 p.m., so now the question is, was it worth it?  I'll let you know.