This time of year I find myself past the August burnout of ripe tomatoes and am wanting them again. Thinking of cooking for the whole family a Christmas dinner with ingredients grown in my garden gives me a warm feeling that I can contribute to their health and keep some amount of pesticides etc. out of their system while they dine at my table.
The two ways that I put up tomatoes is canning and freezing. Historically, we canned because there were no freezers back then. Once we got a deep freeze we did not jump on the canning bandwagon right away. The freezer was left for the beef and hog we processed each year.
Not until recent years did I begin treating the blanched bushels of fruit as something to freeze. I was wary at first, but it seems to work just as well for sauces and whole fruit.
Pickled green tomatoes are the only product that I put up that must be canned. I still do can some sauces and salsa for old time sake (or stubbornness) but for the most part, it is easier to use a zip lock bag and the deep freeze. With that all said, here are two of my favorite recipes using home canned or frozen tomatoes.
This recipe can be made with fresh or frozen/canned fruit. One hint, if you plan to freeze a portion of the soup for later consumption do not add the cream. Do this before serving.
two pounds of drained chopped tomatoes
one onion finely chopped
one garlic clove
table spoon butter
one pint beef stock
salt and pepper
quarter pint heavy cream
With butter, fry onion and garlic until wilty. Add half pint beef stock, tomatoes, and large pinch of baking soda. Boil concoction, lower heat to simmer for 15 minutes while stirring.
Let sit to cool before food processing. Blender also works. Chunks in this soup are unappetizing, so strain back into pan.
Re-heat and add remaining stock to your choice of consistency. In a separate pan warm cream almost until boiling then add to soup. enjoy.
Tomato Sauce *this is for a large meal with pasta, it can be halved quartered or excess frozen
six pounds tomatoes mashed
half cup olive oil
one tbs black pepper
one tsp chili seasoning
one tsp salt
one tbs minced onion
one tbs oregano
one tbs garlic powder
one tsp sugar
in saucepan heat low add tomatoes, oil, pepper, chili seasoning, salt, onion, oregano, garlic powder, and sugar. simmer on hour and serve
This recipe should make enough for several meals. Keep in mind that it will thicken with every re-heating and will be perfect for topping a casserole towards the end.