The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Making Tomato Sauce, Part 1

For all of you that have been wondering about Brave Cat, she is gone. We have not seen her since Monday. We thank you for your thoughts and prayers on her behalf.

Now. On with the tomato sauce. I have never made tomato sauce. It is another item I wanted to learn how to make and our tomato crop cooperated enough that I can try my hand at it. Since I am back at school teaching, I have much less time to tend, pick and process the garden. Thus, I am making my tomato sauce over a two evening time frame.

Last night I picked the garden and added these newly picked tomatoes to the ones I had waiting in the refrigerator.

So, when I got home this afternoon, I got out my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and got started. I thought the recipe was odd.

You start off by quartering 6 tomatoes, put them in a large pot and smash them with a potato masher. The first time I read that, I thought it sounded pretty strange. But, you know what? It works great! That's why it's in the Ball canning book, right? Heat these first tomatoes to boiling, then continue to quarter and add more tomatoes, smashing them with the potato masher, keeping them boiling as you go.


We planted some Arkansas Traveler tomatoes this summer. They got off to a late start since we had several late frosts, but they have produced very well. It's hard to show it in a picture, but they are very meaty, but have more of a regular tomato texture than the Roma's we are growing. Oddly enough, I don't like tomatoes. I have tried for years and until we grew these tomatoes, I just thought they were yucky. These, I will eat and I actually enjoy them. 

I ended up with more 'stuff' after I added all of the tomatoes than I thought I would, which is great. The recipe says to boil it for 10 minutes to soften the tomatoes.

Next, we ran everything through a strainer that separates the skins and seeds from the meat and juice of the tomato. This gave me the opportunity to use the strainer attachment for my KitchenAid.
I bought it years ago with the hope that I would be able to make things like tomato sauce and it is really neat to finally be able to do so. But because we had never used this attachment, we had to figure it out before we could actually get started.


Once we got everything put together, and figured out a good setup, we were ready to start.

When we started, we realized that the juice was splashing everywhere as it dribbled down into the bowl, so we elevated it on top of another bowl to get it closer to the strainer.

The mixing bowl did not hold all of the sauce, so we had to pour it into another bowl and keep on straining. I was really surprised at how little waste there was and how much sauce we ended up with.

I knew this would be a busy week with processing produce from the garden so yesterday we baked a roast. It is from one of the wethers we butchered last fall. This gave us a quick and easy meal for supper tonight. While the tomato sauce was boiling, I snapped enough of the green beans I picked yesterday for a meal and started them cooking. So when we finished making and cleaning up a big mess straining the tomatoes, supper was ready.

Then the only things left to do were to feed the goats, chickens, cats and dog and finish up this post. Another good days work finished. We are grateful for each and every day and for the challenges and learning opportunities each day brings. It is because of them that we grow stronger every day. We are blessed.

Until next time - Fern

P.S. Stay tuned for Tomato Sauce, Part 2.


  1. Hopefully some year I'll get enough tomatoes to make tomato sauce. You make it sound pretty easy!

  2. I'm so sorry about your kitten. I was thinking of her this morning and praying she would return safely. It's so hard to lose a pet.

    This is the first year we have made tomato sauce, also. We purchased a Victorio Strainer last year and used it some, but it really got a good workout this year with our garden tomatoes. We like it because it cuts the steps down in making tomato puree.

    We washed and stemmed the tomatoes, cut them in quarters, then ran them through the strainer; no cooking down first. Running the pulp through the strainer twice adds alot more puree.

    Because I didn't have time to can the nice thick seedless, skinless puree immediately we stored it in half gallon canning jars in our extra refrigerator for a few days. Today I had time to can it, so I dumped all the jars in a nice big stock pot and heated the tomato puree. Then I added the seasonings I wanted to add to it and continued heating it, stirring frequently, but not to a boil.

    Worked great! We'll do this alot going forward as I can change the seasonings (depending on how I want to use it) or leave it plain with just a bit of Sea Salt added. To make sure it was acidic enough for the Boiling Water Bath canner I added Citric Acid to each jar.

    1. Hi Glenda,

      Thanks for all of the information. I plan to can ours this afternoon. My recipe also calls for citric acid. I'll let you know how it turns out.