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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Canning Tomatoes ... a basic sauce recipe

16 lbs of tomatoes were sitting in my refrigerator waiting for me to experiment with them! So I did some more research trying to decide what I would can with them and I just couldn't decide (there are SO many recipes out there for canning tomatoes and I want to try every since one!...but there is no way that's happening)! So I finally came to the conclusion to make something basic and go the same direction I did with the crushed tomatoes but I wanted to try and juice these to get out all the seeds and skins. It turned out to be fairly easy and it will be a very multi-purpose tomato mix. I didn't add any herbs or spices so as not to distract from the delicious tomato flavor and then when I cook with it later I can add the finishing touches!

I rinsed all my tomatoes and put them in my large stainless steel stock pot. This way the heat from the stove and juice would make it very easy to crush the tomatoes right in the stock pot and not dirty up extra dishes by blending or using the food processor. Within a few minutes the tomatoes were already cooking down into the juice.

 I let the mixture simmer on medium heat to start reducing the juice and I reduced it by half. Make sure to stir it often so it doesn't stick and burn to the bottom.
I ran the reduced juice mixture through my kitchen aid fruit and vegetable strainer attachment

I put the juice back in the stock pot and set it on a low simmer to help reduce the juice more while I was getting all the canning equipment ready (as well as cleaning up the mixer and strainer attachment)

I put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in the bottom of each hot sterilized pint jar. Then I filled the jars with the hot tomato sauce

After Cleaning the rims of the jars I put on the hot sterilized lids and rings and placed the jars in the water bath canner for 35 minutes (process quarts 45 minutes)

This is a very basic sauce accenting the flavor of the tomatoes and I'm excited to use it! From 16 lbs of tomatoes I ended up with 6 pints and 1 half pint. You can make the mixture as thick or thin as you want by increasing or decreasing the simmer time. This is easy and you can customize it to your individual preference! Enjoy!!

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