Eek, has it really been a month since I posted about my tomatoes?
Well, it's been busy around here. And while I wait for my husband to upload some of the newest and greatest pictures, here's what's been going on:
Sauce has been made!
It is quite something to take a plastic grocery bag outside with me and fill it halfway with tomatoes every time I go out to pick them. Sure makes all the prior effort worth it. But, it isn't all fairies and lollipops in the garden. To be sure, there has been some rot. Apparently there is a fungus or bacteria around this area that makes it difficult for san marzanos to grow. I've probably lost about 30% of my tomato crop to this. Invetiably, there will be a multitude of tomato plants growing in our swamp next year as I just toss the rotten ones in that direction. Another negative is that some animal has been taking large bites out of the low-hanging tomatoes (which are usually the big beautiful ones!). My hope is that said animal wonders over to the ripening habeneros and takes a bite.
Negatives aside, I really am having a blast. I've made 2 batches of sauce, and this weekend should mark the 3rd. I took picturs of the whole process and will share soon. For now, here's the summary.
2 quarts of sauce, made simply from tomatoes with fresh basil and oregano
1 quart of sauce, simply tomatoes. I simmered this much longer than the first batch so it got very thick and rich. I wanted a batch of san marzanos in their purest state. The samples I snuck were delicious.
Why nothing but plain 'ol tomato sauce? Because I have a hard time committing, ok? Truth is, I wanted to leave it as a blank slate as much as possible. Then, when we have a craving for san marzano sauce this winter, we can pull it out of the freezer and do what we want with it. Marinara, pizza sauce, pasta sauce, pomodoro, vodka sauce, etc.
We did make some fresh salsa with several of the tomatoes, just to use up some peppers we had (japalenos, serranos, habeneros). A quick pulse of onion, tomato, and peppers and we were good to go.