The end of summer is always a busy time for me...it's when I get most of my canning done! This year, the only thing I managed to can was my homemade spaghetti sauce.
The story about making sauce starts about three years ago. I had canned bread-and-butter pickles with my Granny's recipe and tried my hand at canning fresh peaches (which were delicious, by the way!) so I decided it was time to make my own spaghetti sauce.
Having never made anything like this, I knew enough to start with plum tomatoes but that was the extent of my knowledge. So I went to the local produce stand and bought a basket of plum tomatoes and headed home.
At around 4 pm, I decided to get started...after all, how long could it take? (Cue suspenseful music)
By 8 pm, the sauce still looked super watery and tasted horrible. My hubby took one look at the sauce and told me I had another 3-4 hours for it to cook down and to get rid of the excess water.
I didn't see my bed until after 2 am, but it was some good sauce!
So this weekend, I got started at 8 am (sometimes I do learn from my mistakes!)
After blanching the tomatoes and getting them into a cold stop bath, I had to peel them and run them through the blender.
Then a trip through the mill to separate the seeds from everything else.
Next comes the hard part...cooking the tomatoes down so the excess water can evaporate.
You can see the pan in the back is darker. That's because it was cooking about an hour longer than the other pan. And yes, those are extremely large soup pans.
These tomatoes cooked from around noon to about 6 pm and reduced almost to half of what I started with.
Then it was time for the fun part of it all...
I used pint jars for these batches.
Doesn't it look yummy???
Finally a quick stop in the water bath and then it was just a matter of waiting for the "POP" (If you've ever done any canning, you know the sound I mean...)
And the final tally? 24 pints of delicious spaghetti sauce...free of preservatives and anything unnatural.
Now, if I can just find a recipe for homemade marinara sauce so I can use up the last basket of tomatoes I have...