Tomato Sauce Means A Magical Kitchen  

Working Together In The Kitchen

Making Tomato Sauce

Making tomato sauce from scratch allows us to connect with fresh ingredients and know exactly what goes into the food we're eating.

A tomato sauce is any of a very large number of sauces made primarily out of tomatoes, usually to be served as part of a dish (rather than as a condiment). Tomato sauces are common for meat and vegetables, but they are perhaps best known as sauces for pasta dishes.

Tomatoes have a rich flavor, low liquid content, very soft flesh which breaks down easily, and the right composition to thicken up into a sauce when they are cooked (without the need of thickeners like roux). All of these qualities make them ideal for simple and appealing sauces.

The simplest tomato sauces consist just of chopped tomato flesh (with the skins and seeds optionally removed), simmered until it loses its raw flavor, and seasoned with salt and pepper!

Join us for an afternoon of adventure and surprises!

First One Has To Go Hunting For Tomatoes

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
This generally takes a brave tough man armed with machete and other protective devices
(notice the hat and pruning devices)

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
A closer look reveal the determination on this man's face and a fearless look as he moves deep into the
jungle in search of the elusive "perfect tomato"

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Once found the tomatoes must be captured, separated from the rest of the herd, and placed into carefully
designed cages.... Not too many at a time as one does not want to bruise the tomatoes!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Oh yes... the hunting costume needs to be made of tough materials and contain dirt and other gardening
evidence thus enabling the hunter to sneak up on the tomatoes while they are unaware of his presence!

Preparations Begin At The Camp!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Collect the tomatoes and organize them by colors as sauces are better when many types of tomatoes are used...
We captured red, yellow, orange, striped, and black ones on today's outting!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Peeling the tomatoes is an art and it begins will boiling water! A big pot is needed and it will take some time
so be prepared to put more water into the pot as the day goes forward.

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Prepare a bowl of ice water and set it aside. Place a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Then, drop the
tomato into the boiling water. You will remove it after 30 seconds or when the skin begins to peel. If you intend to
peel several tomatoes make sure you have enough water for all of the tomatoes.  We simply use the
kitchen sink for our activities.

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Organize the tomatoes so you can see the colors and sizes.  You will want to take 4-6 tomatoes at a time and
drop into the boiling water for 30 seconds or so.  Having the same sizes (or close to it) assures you will not
over cook a small one while attempting to get the large one to take of his/her skin!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
While still in hunting attire place the tomatoes into the boiling water, head first so as to eliminate their pain instantly! 
Careful as they tend to wiggle around for the first 1/2 second and hot water can splash.  We use a modern
device called a "food strainer" and gently place the tomatoes into the hot water!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Having your sidekick at the camp is helpful as she can assist in the de-skinning process while you proceed with
skin removal.  Notice the tomatoes just sit there while the magic of hot water works!

Beware, Explicit Naked Photos Below!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
When the now hot tomatoes are carefully dropped into the ice water they become partially disrobed!  Teasing
the great hunter with their inner beauty but they are still a challenge!  Warning.... let them cool a while in the ice
water as their massive bodies can retain some of the heat!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Carefully life the now cool tomato out of their pool and the skin will almost fall off revealing a quite naked tomato. 
The skin can be sown together and make into a nice red scarf but we do not recommend it!  The remaining part
of the tomatoes can be cut in half and squeezed tenderly!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Drop the remaining fleshy part of the tomato into a calendar so the juices can run out. Remember tomatoes
spend a lot of time in the jungle at the watering hole and are quite full of water!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Some will float and some will sink but they all taste good!  Keep the water cool and afer 50-60 hot tomatoes
you may want to add ice or refresh the water with cool tap water and ice!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
If you look carefully you can see the remaining tomatoes shake and quiver knowing they are next to take the plunge! 
After th trip from the jungle, they are fairly tame!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
The calendar will drain a lot of he juices but as the calendar fills up, we transfer the tomatoes into mixing bowls
and see the excess water on the right had side?  We use a spoon to remove it several times
during the course of the afternoon!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
We get the almost ready to go "grind" tomatoes into plastic containers so we can
estimate the amount we have for the day!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Look carefully at the bottom center.... There is water accumulating as we continue the process of
excess water removal!  We punch the hole in the meat using a scoop and water naturally goes to the lowest spot!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Clearer in this picture (no flash)!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
It's a messy job but someone has to do it!  The towel on the counter is used to catch the hot water as the
strainer is used to lift he tomatoes form the stove (on the left) to the sink (on the right).  The towel catches
a lot of juices that otherwise might run around the counter and on to the floor!  Skinning is complete!
Bring in the real kitchen master, Sue!

Now Life Get Tough For The Tomatoes

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Trusty sidekick Sue uses the Cruiseart to grind up the tomatoe meat into a puree.  This takes a talented person
(namely the real chef) as only she knows the consistency she desires.  Too much grinding gives one
a soup and to little makes for real chunky sauce.  Best turn over the reains to the master from here forward!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Ahhhhh!  A masterful consistency with small chunks.  Notice not excess water... that's because we kept
removing the water as they tomatoes were skinned and hand squeezed!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
This is what 12 quarts of tomato sauce looks like after the initial work!  It is worth it as all winter we will have
fresh tomato sauce!  We do this twice a summer!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
Now for some light cooking!  We take this and place into a large pot or two!  Bring the entire quantity to a
boil and then simmer or 30 minutes adding only salt and pepper to taste!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
One will work if you have one big enough but smaller ones are easier to handle
and allow adjustment to the seasoning if so desired!

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
When done, we place the result into one quart containers allowing them to cool before placing them
into the freezer for proper aging.   Tese will last a least a year in a good freezer.

Making Tomato Sauce  July 2008
The sauce is used for a lot of things by master chef Sue and the year unfolds!  The great white
hunter has been relegated to clean-up duties while the final stages of preparation and cooking
took place.  Paul is also available for a light fee to do the heaving lifting!