Friday, September 17, 2010

And Yet More Sauce

Three gallons of frozen tomatoes and more on the counter

I can't believe how many tomatoes I've gotten this year from just 12 plants. The Cherokee Purples have been the most productive of all. Because of this I've been making a lot of sauce. Usually I don't make spaghetti sauce. I buy it from the store. The meager tomato sauce I've saved in past years went into soups and chilis and such. I tried to not buy sauce for those, but spaghetti sauce has always been my very infrequent fast meal. This year I have so much sauce I'm not sure I need more for soups. Maybe.

Since I might well have enough for spaghetti sauce I figured I ought to boil this one down to a thicker sauce. I have a couple already canned that are thicker too. All the tomatoes totally filled up my shiny new 12 quart pot. Yes I got tired of dealing with just one 8 quart stock pot when making sauce. I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a nice 12 quart pot too. Oh goodness it makes life easier to have two pots when you are canning. Plus the new pot is big enough to fit on the big burner (my other one isn't) and wider than the other one so things cook down faster.

When it was all strained out and boiled down it made a measly 5 1/2 pints of sauce and one of tomato juice. So I boiled off 3/4 of the liquid. But I'm sure it will make yummy spaghetti sauce.

The photo above, taken in the morning sunlight, lies. It looks like they are a nice bright red, but the truth is that they are a very dark sauce. There are so many Cherokee Purple tomatoes in there that it is dusky in a way. It is very pretty, but not the bright red. More of a deep sultry red.

Current canning count:

  • Tomato sauce 13 pints
  • Tomato sauce 7 half pints
  • Tomato sauce 3 quarter pints
  • Annie's Salsa 12 pints (plus one is already gone)
  • Salsa Verde 14 pints (plus one that is already gone)
  • Tomatillo Sauce 2 pints
  • Dill pickles 12 pints
  • Relish 7 half pints
  • Applesauce 13 pints (plus one still from last year)

I still have some raspberry/jalapeno jelly from last year and a lot of apple butter. My new pantry is really filling up. I'm a bit sad though. I never made any jam this year. I'll have to make sure to buy some peaches, strawberries, and/or blueberries early next year to get some jam. I really should do this before the tomato season hits and I no longer feel like making jam. My problem is that it was so hot that I kept waiting for the heat to break, which didn't happen until now.


  1. Wow. Your plants have produced tons of tomatoes this year! 12 plants is enough for anyone, and i'll plant only that many next year, myself. The sauce is beautiful!

  2. Cherokee Purples, I will have to remember that name next year.


  3. I just posted a spagetti sauce recipe this morning. I would be interested to compare notes on recipes.

    I grew cherokee purple this year and I have to say they are my favorite. The flavor is incredible.

  4. Gorgeous! I've never made tomato juice, may this is the year. My cherokee purples were also prolific, and very tasty!

  5. I never want to see another tomato ever again. I'll get over it.

    Mr. Granny had a red beer with some of this year's tomato juice. He said it was really good, so I took a sip of the juice and...wowie! It was strong! I used the stick blender on the hot tomatoes, then put them through the sieve to remove seeds and leftover bits of skin. It's almost more like sauce than juice!

  6. EG, I might plant more next year. They usually aren't as prolific. I've been getting a second wave from Cherokee Purple that is almost as big as the first wave.

    Sense of Home they are a fabulous variety. I'm hoping they do as well in our normal summers.

    Frugal Gardener, I don't have a recipe yet. I just made regular tomato sauce, but thicker to can. I'll make it into spaghetti sauce before each meal. Unlike you I have no pressure canner so I have to make it safe to water bath can.

    Ali, I just hope they do as well next year because I'm really loving them. I just have to remember to still plant things I know will do well in bad weather.

    Annie's Granny, lol I just know that in the spring you will plant too many tomatoes. You will forget all the pain of canning and do it all over again. My tomato juice isn't that thick. It is very thin since it is just the middle parts of the tomatoes that have drained out when I squeeze out the middle parts. It tastes great though.

  7. Wow, I had 12 plants of tomatoes too and it didn't produce half as much as that. I am so impressed!

  8. Hi Daphne!
    I love how you have all your tomatoes sorted on the counter... so pretty... and organized!

    I canned sauce today!!!! You know, we use our sauce mostly for pizza... but also for lasagna, eggplant parm, and chili.

    But honestly, most of it is used for pizza! I make a pizza almost once a week. Here in the wilds of northern Wyoming there aren't any good pizza places so..

    I'm at the end of our gardening season... it's in the 40s at night now... soon snow will be topping the mountains... and temperatures will drop!

  9. I read your blot title and instantly agreed. I too will be making more sauce this weekend. I washed and prepared the ripe tomatoes today and will process them through the strainer and cook them down into sauce tomorrow.

    You are going to love your 12 quart pot. I have a 12 quart and 10 quart to work with for sauce and have used both so much this year.

  10. They're beautiful! I don't usually can sauce either, but it I have some finishing up in the canner as I type. Don't you love looking at all those beautiful jars?

  11. Wow, I am envious of your abundant harvest (but aspire to the same, as it is spring here in New Zealand). Yours is a great blog!

  12. I did not get a single Cherokee Purple this year but I know it was a particularly horrible tomato year. I am going to give them another go next year and hope that I get a better tomato summer. I pulled several Market Miracle tomatoes off the vine today that had just a hint of color - going to ripen them off the vine as the fall rains have arrive and the tomato plants are going down. I wanted to let you know though that the Market Miracles were the largest tomatoes of any I grew this year and I think I will get most of the ones I picked to ripen. Thanks for sharing that seed with me.

  13. If we lived closer I'd trade you some jam for some tomato sauce. We've had a really terrible tomato year but I've been able to make jam like crazy! Your results look awesome!

  14. Hi! I bought 125lbs of tomatoes at the farmers market last week. 10$ for 25lb box. I've been roasting them with onion, garlic, olive oil and herbs. Makes such sweet sauce! Some of it I run through the food mill. I haven't frozen any whole tomatoes yet. How do you do it? Do you skin and core them, freeze them on a cookie sheet and then into a bag or do you just throw them in the bags whole? Thanks!

  15. Elizabeth, I wash and quarter then and then toss them into a bag. I only do the cookie sheet thing if I know I want to use them as tomatoes and not make them into tomato sauce. Then I usually roast them first then freeze them on a cookie sheet. Then into bags when I need tomatoes in stew or something.

  16. Thank you Daphne. I didn't think of quartering them. They would take up less room that way.

    I love it when bloggers respond to comments on their blogs. You are fast!

    I passed on your pan bread recipe to a friend and she makes it all the time.