Homemade Pasta Sauce

One freezer bag of sauce, which will be good for two meals of pasta, took 13 medium sized regular tomatoes (not Roma). Time needed to put up seven freezer bags, which equals 14 meals for us, took me just under 2 hours of time. The great thing about making your own pasta sauce is that you can put into it whatever pleases you. I cannot eat store bought pasta sauce because they contain onions and garlic. Everything in this world seems to be seasoned with onions and garlic and both upset my G.I. system. No idea why? So having gotten frustrated with not being able to eat pasta and sauce, I decided to start regularly making my own. I bought 62 tomatoes for $12.00 and I washed and cored them, and then I placed them in boiled water and slipped the skins off of them. I then cut them up and tried to remove as many of the seeds as possible. Then I put them all in a big pot and added homegrown oregano, rosemary, and thyme-that was dried and crushed, salt and pepper, three tablespoons of good olive oil and cooked for 1 hour and ten minutes. I cooled the pot down once cooking was done in a large bowl of ice, then I put 16 oz of sauce in seven freezer bags, sealed, dated, and placed flat in our freezer.




Summertime and Salsa

tomato salsa

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Summertime

Officially, according to most, summer is half over. But I’m an optimistic kind of gal and I feel like it’s just beginning. There’s a lot of summer left in the Midwest, lots of time to go swimming, kick a ball around, have a picnic, even pick some tomatoes fresh from the vine.

That’s what I’m doing this week, and I’m making salsa, sauce, and soup from them.  I am a month out from my foot surgery, and though it is slow going for one toe, the Franken toe (very scary looking one) is almost fully healed and looks brand new. The toe that needed to be fixed, thanks to my last podiatrist’s careless neglect, is still healing and bothering me.  It’s time though to start canning tomatoes and freezing some of this year’s harvest for winter.

My husband and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary as a couple.   It seems like just yesterday that we were working side by side in a nursing home and yours truly ( a famous flirt) finally got up the courage to ask a guy out for the first time. He said yes without hesitation, lucky me, and the rest, as they say, is history.  What a difference the right person in your life makes towards your happiness and well -being.   To celebrate we got together with some friends and had a wonderful party, filled with good food and lots of fun. We grilled chicken and lots of steaks for the meat eaters and ate veggies straight from the garden. Our patio flowers are coming along, though a few went south and were turned into mulch. A favorite this summer is our lovely petunias.  A couple of weekends ago my husband planted miniature pumpkins and lavender in the empty pots. I cannot wait to see if the mini pumpkins work out.

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I’ll share the salsa recipe and wish you all a fantastic rest of the summer..

Ingredients:

  • 10 pounds tomatoes
  • 3 large sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sweet red peppers, finely choppedi
  • 2 medium green peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 4-1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canning salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add tomatoes, a
  • few at a time; boil for 30 seconds. Drain and immediately place
  • tomatoes in ice water. Drain and pat dry; peel and finely chop.
  • Place in a stockpot. Add onions and peppers.
  • Place mustard and celery seed on a double thickness of cheesecloth;
  • bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag. Add
  • spice bag and the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 60-75 minutes or until
  • slightly thickened. Discard spice bag.
  • Carefully ladle relish into hot 1-pint jars, leaving 1/2-in.

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