Guess what I did today? That's right. I finally dealt with some of the tomatoes. Not only did I make homemade sauce, but I jarred it as well.
You can just call me Little Suzie Homemaker.
Don't be jealous. You all know how I like to help out the common man. And so, I bring you...
Making - and Jarring, oh my God! - Tomato Sauce
What you need to get started:
- A crap load of tomatoes. What is a crap load? Well, it differs for each and every one of us.
- A big ass pot with lid. And a thingy to stick inside to hold the jars.
- Lids and rings
- Lemon juice
- Canning salt. What is this? Darned if I know. I was told non-iodized is the same thing.
- Kitchen-aid mixer with juicer attachment gadget.
- Phone number of someone who knows how to work the attachment gadget for the Kitchen-aid.
- Extension cord.
- Some kind of grippy things to take hot jars out of boiling hot water.
- A buch of bowls.
- Pry bar.
- Window fan.
- 2 Blueberry Pop-tarts.
- 8 oz. cold milk.
Note: Do not get supplies ready ahead of time. Things will be more interesting that way.
Preparing to Jar!
1. Go out to a bar the night before you plan to jar. Drink a goodly amount of beer and stay up late.
2. Get up way to early and stumble into the kitchen. See many tomatoes on the table. Groan. Make coffee. See that dog peed on carpet in front of door.
3. Get pry bar and hammer and begin to rip up carpet because you just can't take this whole "dog not quite making it outside thing" any more. Rip up about a 5 x 5 square foot of carpeting and the possible asbestos underlayment. Finally remember to turn on window fan.
4. Vacuum area with Shop-vac. Fill bucket with very hot water and a little too much bleach. Scrub freshly exposed floor as though you are ridding your soul of the demons that have plagued you for many, many years. Feel your lungs begin to burn from the bleach.
5. Look at tomatoes again. Prolong the jarring a little bit longer by toasting 2 Pop-tarts and then dunking them in milk while you read through the jarring book to try to jog your memory on how to do this.
6. After you are sufficiently bored with trying to read through the directions, abandon book and take your breakfast dishes to the sink. Drink a coffee.
7. Go to the bathroom. Change a load of laundry. Fold laundry in the dryer and put it away before cats bed down in it. Wash hands.
1. Look at tomatoes and sigh.
2. Put the tomatoes in the sink and begin to wash them. Place clean tomatoes into one of the many, many bowls you will use.
3. Let dog out.
4. Try to remember where you last saw the big-ass pot and lid.
5. Go into the basement and try to locate some jars, lids and rings. Oh! There's the big-ass pot and lid! Get that too. Haul everything to the kitchen.
6. Let the dog in.
7. Get Kitchen-aid mixer and set up on table. Try to find extension cord for mixer. After fuitless search for small extension cord, take 25 foot contractor's cord and plug mixer in to outlet 4 feet away.
8. Get box of attachment gadgets for mixer and try to figure out which one is the juicer. Stick your hand into the box with wild abandon and cut the tip of your right-hand index finger on slicer attachment. Mutter explicatives. Wash finger and put Band-aid on cut. Go bakc to box and gingerly remove what you think you might need for the juicer. Lay parts on table next to mixer and ponder your situation awhile.
9. Drink some more coffee.
10. Call person who knows how to work attachment gadget and get instuctions on how to put it together. Turn on mixer to speed 4.
11. Place bowl under juicer to catch juice. Place bowl under other end of juicer gadget to catch not-juice. Begin to feed tomatoes into hopper on top of juicer. DO NOT try to push tomatoes in that are just too darn big. Cut them up.
12. Stare in child-like wonder as Kitchen-aid makes short work of juicing the tomatoes.
13. Place as many jars as you can fit standing up into the big-ass pot and cover them with water. Boil jars for 10 m inutes. Place as many lids and rings as you have jars into another small pot of water and boil for 10 minutes as well.
14. Go back and squish more tomatoes into the mixer.
15. Let you son squish some tomatoes too.
16. Turn everything off because you have to drive your son to a scouting event that you didn't know about.
17. Trun everything back on.
18. Let the dog out.
19. Squish more tomatoes.
20. When you've had about enough, pour the tomato juice into a large pot. Put the not-juice in your compost bin. (You do compost, don't you?)
21. Now it's time to season the sauce. Throw in whatever you darn well please. Salt. Pepper. Um...Italian seasoning? What's that? Oregano, basil, parsley...ok.
22. Peel some garlic and onion and place in food processor to chop. Turn on food processor.
23. Let the dog back in.
24. Answer phone. Talk to your mom for a while. Forget about stuff in food processor. Come back to find it like a garlic and onion smoothie. Oh well. Put it into a small pot with some butter and set it on stove to simmer. Scream bloody murder when you get garlic juice in finger cut.
25. Change another load of laundry. Go to bathroom. Get distracted by unibrow and begin to pluck some eyebrow hairs. Suddenly remember garlic/onion smoothie.
26. Come back to kitchen to find garlic/onion smoothie has boiled all over the place. Pour whatever is left into sauce pot. Take heating element out and try to scrape off burnt garlic flakes. Return element to stove top.
27. Check book and see that sauce has to cook for - what?- 2 hours?! Crap!
28. Turn off pot with jars.
29. Find something to do for two hours. Like picking more tomatoes. And jarring them. No, I'm not kidding. And I'm not even going to get into it here.
30. Pick son up from scout event.
Let's Jar Tomato Sauce!
1. Boil jars, lids and rings again since you are finally ready for them.
2. Remove sauce from stove.
3. Take a jar out of the water - careful! It's hot! - and place it on a towel on the table. Fill the jar with sauce. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon and 1 tablespoon of non-iodized salt.
4. Take a lid and ring from the other pot and go to place it on the jar of sauce. Realize that you used the wrong size lids.Jump around kitchen yelling "What the crap! What the crap!".
5. Find the right size lids and put them in a pot of water to boil for 10 minutes.
6. When the lids are done, take one out and place it on the jar of sauce. Twist a ring onto the jar. Very carefully put jar back into pot of hot water.
7. Continue in the same fashion with other jars until you are out of room in your big-ass pot.
8. Put lid on pot and bring the whole kit and kaboodle to a boil. Boil it all for 40 minutes.
9. When time is up, take your grabby things and try to get the jars out of the pot. This is the most exciting and dangerous part of the process. Once false slip and it's a long, painful trip to the emergency room.
10. Place jars on a towel on table to cool.
11. Look at the jars for awhile.
12. Clap when you hear a lid go "pop". That means it is sealing like a good jar.
13. If you feel like sticking around to hear them all pop, go ahead, but it might take a while.
14. Try not to think about how you just took 8 freaking hours to make seven jars of sauce. Also try not to think about how you just bought sauce at Giant for $1.00 a jar. Don't think about that. At all.
15. Clean up whatever you have the energy to. The rest will be there tomorrow.
Congratulations! You did it!