Canning Season

It's that time of year again.

First, you get a few bushels of these things. We used, when we lived in Canal Fulton and had a large back yard, to grow them ourselves (mainly the roma variety, which give a higher yield of thicker sauce per bushel). These days we buy them, usually from the Amish. Roma tomatoes are preferred, but romas cost 70% more per bushel this year, so we went with the regular kind. Romas are worth more, but not 70% more.

Oh, you'll also want some of these and some of these.
You wash the tomatoes, cut them up, put them in the hopper, turn the handle, and run them through. I put up a short video of this on YouTube.

Out comes the juice, which you boil down for a while.

At some point you cut up the onions and peppers, then put them through the blender, with a bit of the tomato juice just to make them blend easier. They then get added to the rest of the tomato juice (no photo of this step yet), along with possibly some tomato paste for added thickness. (The tomato paste isn't necessary if your tomatoes make a good thick juice in the first place, another reason the roma variety are preferred.)

There are a couple of other ingredients as well. Maybe I'll post up our recipe at some point.

You put the sauce in jars (no photo of this step yet), then load them (again, no photo yet) into the waterbath canner.

Outcome: beautiful, glorious canned spaghetti sauce. Server over vermicelli, with grated parmesan on the side. It's also good for rigatoni, lasagna, practically any pasta, really. We were almost out when the tomatoes came into season this year, so we hope to do seventy quarts or so. You can't buy this stuff at the store. I mean, you can buy stuff that says spaghetti sauce on the label, but you don't want it.

Oh, here's a photo of my mom's new wooden stirring spoon. The old one broke, so we got this one from that place in Winona Lake that sells wooden kitchen implements.