Friday, September 14, 2012

from seed to sauce

In early spring, 10 varieties of tomatoes were started under the grow lights in the basement.

After being potted up and hardened off in the mini greenhouses on the sunny back porch, they were transplanted into the vegetable bed. Only one year before that bed was part of the meadow! With the additions of horse manure, chicken bedding, and shredded leaves and grass, the soil this year was ready. And those little plants grew,

and grew,
and grew!

This morning, with the cheerful chattering of the chickens foraging nearby, I harvested the fourth load of ripe fruits, some of each variety.

From the barrow to the kitchen sink.

 Then onto the stove to break them down

 so they can go into the hand operated sieve where the skins and seeds are removed.

Then back into the pot so the sauce can slowly thicken by cooking off the excess water. This can take a while.....
depending on how thick you'd like the final product to be.
Meanwhile you wash and scald/sterilize the canning jars and lids and get the water bath boiling.
Ladling the sauce into hot jars with just a spoon of lemon juice is satisfying indeed.

Process pints 35 minutes. Then cool on rack.

And finally the transformation of that barrowful of tomatoes is complete.
The chickens have long since gone to bed, the sun set a while ago, and I just heard the last satisfying sound of "ping" as the 8th jar sealed itself.
Dovey just couldn't understand why I've spent so much time in the kitchen on this perfect weather day. She finally sought the company of her stuffed pals since she wasn't getting much from me.


  1. Such satisfying work, Sharon! I love the sound of those "pings". I'll bet you will appreciate that tomato sauce goodness come some snowy January evening.

    What fun it is to see the sequence of photos showing the progress of your brave little seedlings. The growing process really is magical.

    Carry on, brave homesteader! xo

  2. A perfect description of the process - from seed to precious stores of sauce! To some, it may seem like tedious work, but having grown up eating sauce from "garden tomatoes" I can vouch for the amazing flavor in the cold of winter!
    Great post!