Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'll take Tomatoes for $200, Alex

So, a couple of questions that should have stayed rhetorical.

#1-On this 5th day of a heat wave, I'm going to be hot anyway, so why not cook something and feel like I'm being productive? (As opposed to sitting in front of a fan and reading- I'm on book #11 since Saturday*)

And #2- how the hell hard can it be to turn tomatoes into sauce?

The answers are: no, stupid, boiling pans and peeling skins make it feel even hotter, and it's a real pain in the butt.

We have many, many tomatoes and J is the only one who eats them- except for Rosie when she can scoop one from the countertop unnoticed.  I figured you boil the tomatoes, strain them and hey, presto, you have sauce!  Good thing I looked online first.

Turns out you have to boil them, dump them in ice water then peel, core and discard the seeds. Seeds apparently make the sauce bitter. Do you know how much of a tomato is seeds and skin? When most of what we have is this size:
                                the answer is, most of it.

That's what I have left after I came to my senses and realized that only the (few) big tomatoes and the plum tomatoes actually had any pulp left after squeezing the seeds out. On the plus side, scooping the seeds out with my fingers was easy.  I ended up with maybe 2 cups of tomato pulp, which will cook down into enough for one small pizza probably.

The hens actually ended up with more in their dish, since in my Julia Child fervor I had tossed the contents of the "save" bowl into the boiling water, and those little pea tomatoes were not getting peeled.
On a side note, see the pumpkins invading the chicken yard? I know the chain link fence will stand up to them, but I wonder how long the vines can hold the weight. I suppose if it breaks it would be slow enough not to hit a chicken on the head. Ha. "The sky is falling, the sky is falling".

In summary, a semi-productive day, but quite the learning experience.

* I am re-reading Anne McCaffrey's Pern series, and found that I am missing some in my collection, and that her son has written more that I have never read. I now have a list in my purse so I know which ones I need when I go to yard sales.


Anonymous said...

The son's are OK, but not as good as Anne's.

Anonymous said...

LOL Those tomatos do look just a leetle small for BLTs!

knitwit said...

I really hear you on the tomatoes. We do about 30 plants every year and then my husband usually goes off somewhere with the army and leaves me to deal with the bounty! We have a hand-crank thing that strains cooked tomatoes, but it's a pain, it's messy and all that cranking gives me blisters! Usually, by the end of September I'm vowing to just buy canned sauce next year! But somehow, come March, I always get suckered in again!