There’s Always a First Time

September 24, 2021

I have made a lot of things in my long kitchen life that contain tomatoes. Of course. But I don’t believe I’ve actually ever made tomato sauce.. mostly because I don’t really like tomato sauce.. mostly because I don’t really like the spices that most people put in tomato sauce. Tomato sauce has been on my lifelong list of things I don’t eat (that includes most beans, peas, and weird stuff).

But… if I’m honest, it’s not that I really dislike tomato sauce — because I actually do like most of the ingredients — it’s just that, to me, all tomato sauce tastes the same and, worse, most of them taste like they came out of a jar. I never want tomato sauce on my pizza, rarely like traditional tomato sauce on my pasta… etc.

I’ve always regretted that I don’t have a kitchen/recipe portfolio of family favorites, go-tos for certain staples of family dining, like mom’s lasagne, mom’s chocolate cake, mom’s Thanksgiving dressing, mom’s meatloaf.. you get the idea. Come to think of it, It might be less about the recipe and more about my failures as a mom! During most of Peter’s life, Jim was the cook in the family. This is, clearly, my biggest mom failing. I will take that regret to the grave.

But I’m cooking now.

And feel pretty righteous about it. (If a bit late to the party.)


Anyway. I made tomato sauce yesterday.

This is all part of the what the hell do we do with all these tomatoes?? phenomenon. The subject of many a facebook post seeking advice.

Last week, I roasted great gobs of cherry tomatoes and am quite pleased with the result (blogged already, don’t worry if you missed it). This week, it’s tomato sauce.

Went with Ann’s recipe!

Started with ten pounds of tomatoes. We are getting to the end of the early girls (the beef steaks completed their run a week ago, and it wasn’t much of a run). To get to the ten pounds called for in the recipe, I supplemented with a handful of cherries.

Cored and cut them (did not skin, but coulda) into large-ish pieces and placed them in the big, heavy calphalon pot. Added fresh rosemary and basil from the garden; added fresh thyme (which I could have picked from the garden, but for some reason asked Jim to get some at the Coop, and he did, so I used that); roughly chopped garlic; kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Mixed it well, covered it, and brought it to a simmer on low. This was supposed to take 20 minutes, but it took an hour and 15 minutes (prolly too thick a pot, and too low a temp).

Once it had a good simmer going, I removed the lid and let it rip (now on med-low to maintain the action), stirring fairly often (except when watching an episode of Offspring). This part of the sauce cooking went on for almost three hours. It still seemed a bit watery to me, but I wanted to go to bed, so called it done. Put it in the refrigerator for the night.

This is what it looked like this morning:

Pretty good, huh?

I decided to puree a portion of it, just to see how that would come out:

That too seems good, no?

Then I jarred everything (those are pint jars)….

… and found places for them all in the freezer (quite a feat). Between the six packets of roasted tomatoes and these six jars of tomato sauce, we’ll have taste-o-summer all winter!

Because I made it, it doesn’t taste like store-bought (to me). I can’t say I love it, but I love that I made it.

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