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Old 09-19-2006, 11:31 PM   #1
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500lbs of tomatoes makes alot of sauce

I'm just sharing an experience from a few weeks ago, please share your thoughts, it is a little long...

So being from an Italian background it was that time of year to make tomato sauce for the year, and did we ever. It started with 500lbs of tomatoes layed out in the basement to ripen. Then they got washed, cut into quarters and put in mason jars along with fresh basil to be squashed with a wooden pole. These jars went onto being boiled in a huge steel barrel in the garage on a portable burner fueled by propane. This preserves the tomatoes so fresh tomato sauce can be made bi-weekly.

The next day was the cooking of the sauce in full and preserving it in jars for ready to eat purposes (which is good for about a year). This starts the same with cleaning and cutting the tomatoes, which go directly into massive pots that each hold about 150-200lbs of tomatoes. Also in the pot goes chopped onions, garlic and fresh basil from our garden. The tomatoes in these pots get squashed by hand a little then make there way to the burners
where it cooks untill it simmers for an hour(alot of attention is required to ensure no stick at the bottom, the wooden spoon i used was the size of a
small canoe paddle). The hot sauce then goes through a machine that seperates the skin and seeds and pours out the nice thick sauce, which goes back on the heat for further reduction and final seasoning.

Now for the interesting way of jaring the sauce. We heated mason jars in the oven at 200degrees F and filled them up one at time using heat proof gloves. Then the jars get a new seal/lid and get tightened by hand then flipped upsidedown covered with tableclothes(to keep the heat in). The pressure from the heat keeps the seal operatonal as long as the jars are upsidedown. Leave upsidedown for 24 hours and we are done, ready to use fresh sauce that needs no refridgeration(unless opened)for pasta or tons of other dishes that can be made.

There is truly no comparison between this sauce and any store bought brand. Great taste, good quantity, and a very eventful experience.

Thank you for reading and I apologize for the length of the thread

youngchefpat

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Old 09-19-2006, 11:41 PM   #2
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Wow - I wish I was there to watch this! I want to learn how to can. Something tells me this would have been a lesson I'd never forget!!!!!

Thanks for the story. I bet it is truly wonderful sauce! Do you peel those tomatoes? If not do you notice they are bitter at all?
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:56 PM   #3
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Sounds AMAZING! I have fabricated 60gallons of sauce in a day, but to see that many 'maters...WOW!! I am sure it is worth it!
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Old 09-20-2006, 12:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
Wow - I wish I was there to watch this! I want to learn how to can. Something tells me this would have been a lesson I'd never forget!!!!!

Thanks for the story. I bet it is truly wonderful sauce! Do you peel those tomatoes? If not do you notice they are bitter at all?
no need to peel them cause the machine does it for you, haven't ever had a problem with a batch being bitter.

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Old 09-20-2006, 12:54 AM   #5
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How many quarts did you end up with?? That is a lot of work.... how many pairs of hands did you have? I've canned a lot of different things but not in that quanity.
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:38 AM   #6
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its tough to say quartz because half the tomatoes were only preserves for later use, but the cooked sauce was about 90 medium-small mason jars worth. We had a consistent 4 people throughout 2 whole days, including cooking time.

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