Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Save the Tomatoes!

Last week it was summer, remember?

Seattle Pops selfie
 It was hot, there was music, there was a choice of refreshing refreshments. There was even a summery new vendor:

Niño Blanco Foods had salsa for sale, in mild, medium and spicy, along with fresh pico de gallo and pickled jalapeños (which I recently learned, at a Mariners game, taste awesome on tater tots).

But summer has vanished, and the recent downpours have made me fear for the rest of my husband's tomato crop. I've made pico de gallo regularly, and Caprese salads like they're going out of style, but the threat of mold calls for stronger measures. It calls for tomato sauce and tomato soup, both of which are made with the same ingredients.

5 lbs of tomatoes
A chopped onion
3 Tbsp of butter
You destem the tomatoes, whack them up in huge chunks, and cook over medium heat.

If you have a food mill, there's no need to peel or seed tomatoes before cooking

For tomato sauce, twenty minutes will break them down. You then put them through the food mill and continue to heat the puree until it's the desired thickness. (For watery Early Girls, this is a pretty long time...)

For tomato soup, you let them simmer up to three hours and then put them through the food mill. Add salt and pepper and fresh basil to taste. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.

I have this exact food mill, and I like it for its simplicity. No interchangeable parts, no electronics that break. Just prop it over a pot and use good, old-fashioned muscle power.

In any case, you don't need homegrown tomatoes to make sauce or soup. Our farmers have plenty, and then you could actually start with meatier tomatoes! Ask for opinions, or mix a variety of them. The Market continues, rain or shine.

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