Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Tomato Sauce

On Labour Day we took a quick trip to Santaquin to buy some tomatoes from Rowley's Red Barn. It was Grandpa's idea. Somehow I had missed the announcement of this field trip so Andrew filled me in on the details. 

My family came over for dinner on Saturday night because Andrew said he was going to make homemade tomato sauce—and who would pass that up? Andrew's parents would, that's who. They went out on a date but before they left Grandpa made us promise that we'd save him some sauce. So we did. About half a cup. 

Grandpa did not think this was fair so he decided that we'd get a nice, big box of tomatoes and Andrew would make homemade sauce and we'd freeze it and then Grandpa would have all the homemade sauce he wanted. One of the Rowleys of Rowley's Red Barn recently moved into his ward, so that's why he wanted to go all the way to Santaquin just to buy tomatoes.

When Andrew told me Grandpa's plot, though, he kept saying Panguitch instead of Santaquin. I wasn't sure where Panguitch was, so I had to look it up. It's about three hours away.

"What else do you want to do on Labour Day?" Andrew asked. 

"Well, buying tomatoes will pretty much eat up the whole day," I said. 

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"Panguitch is three hours away, so that's six hours of driving time."

"Panguitch? Did I say Panguitch? I meant Santaquin."

That changed things a lot—since Santaquin is only a half hour away—but it didn't really change what we did on Labour Day. We bought tomatoes and then Andrew sat around doing homework, homework, homework, in between us teasing him for confusing Panguitch and Santaquin. The semester truly has begun.

Anyway, today we finally got around to making that tomato sauce. 

I blanched them and peeled the skin off—as per Karen's advice I cut out the stem instead of making an X on the bottom (like we did last time) and the process went a whole lot faster. Rachel had a friend over but after he went home I diced up the now skinless tomatoes and Rachel helped smash them up.

She tried using her hands but I caught her and shrieked, "Don't do that! Just squish it with the squasher. Or squash it with the squisher. Or whatever! Just don't use your hands!"

In full compliance with my command she removed her hand from the bowl and...wiped it on her jumper. Of course. But she had so much fun squishing and squashing those tomatoes to smithereens. 

"Can we make tomato sauce for dinner every night?" she asked.

I told her we couldn't.

"Well, we're making it tonight. Actually, I'm making it tonight. When Daddy asks who made dinner you will say, 'I don't know. It wasn't me. It must've been Rachel.' And then he'll be like, 'No way!' And then I'll be like, 'Yes, way, Dad! I made dinner by squishing all the tomatoes!' And he'll be so happy because he doesn't like regular tomatoes but he really likes tomatoes when you squish them up and cook them into tomato sauce. And squishing tomatoes is a lot of work and I'm doing that work just like it's my job but I'm not complaining about it like I complain when I put away the dishes because I actually like this job. Can I do this job everyday instead of doing the dishes?"

Given a chance, and if ears were detachable, that girl would talk my ears off. 

Given a chance, and if ears were detachable, I might take my ears off so I could have a break from her motormouth every once in a while. 

She chatted the whole time we were in the kitchen. The whole day, actually—she chatted the whole day—including a temper tantrum directed at her uncooperative toys in her bedroom ("That's why we will never be best friends!" she yelled. "Who are you talking to?" I asked. "My toys!" she screamed, "They just won't do what I want them to do!").

Anyway, Miriam spent most of the afternoon getting into things and sneaking bits of tomato and spreading tomato juice all over creation. (That's actually a soother in her mouth, not a tomato, a sure sign that teething has begun because she never sucks on those suckers—she just violently chomps on them).

Andrew seasoned the sauce and set it to boil after our cub scouts left. It's still simmering on the stove now (which means that we didn't end up having any for dinner; bummer). Making tomato sauce was fun, but certainly not something I'd want to do everyday. We still have to freeze it, but I'll take the advice from some of my cousins and not use glass jars in the freezer!


  1. You can use glass in the freezer, just make sure it is cool when it goes in. Not hot right off the simmering stove. Glass can't take big changes in temperature. Don't put a cold glass dish into a hot oven either.

  2. Sorry, Tamsin, but it's more a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants recipe. We squished the tomatoes. We browned onions and garlic together in some olive oil. Then we added the tomatoes, some basil, some salt, some sugar, some red pepper flakes, and then let it boil until it was thick enough. That's about as exact as we got...