An easier way to sauce the toms

(Does anyone else think that “sauce the toms” should become cutesy lingo of some kind? You know, “what’d you do this weekend?” “Oh, I sauced the toms!” Common parlance y’all! Or maybe I’m just a GIANT DORK.)


You might remember I had all those red tomatoes (about 15 lbs) sitting around from when I harvested before hurricane Irene swept through? I knew I had to make something from them, but what? I already had 19 quarts crushed tomatoes, 13 quarts pasta sauce, 9 8oz jars tomato jam, 21 pints pico de gallo salsa, and 13 pints chipotle-corn salsa. Plus about a gallon and a half of tomato bisque in the fridge and freezer.

And y’all, I had to make something. Quickly. Because tomatoes picked at their peak don’t last past a day or two. And there is an odor. And unpleasantness.

Well, when all else fails return to the basics. Tomato sauce. (From the tomatoes that do NOT smell.)

I hadn’t wanted to do a tomato sauce because it takes to boil it all down and then put it through a food mill and boil it some more. But this time I got smart – we had electricity, why not put it to work for me? I broke out the slow cooker.

I first rough-chopped the tomatoes and tossed them in a biiiig pot with a couple tablespoons of salt to help break them down. They simmered for a little bit – maybe 30 minutes – and then I put the food mill over the slow cooker and cranked those babies into a puree. Didn’t take that long actually – since they were still so watery it was quick work. They rendered about a gallon of watery sludge. Then the brimful slow cooker was set on low overnight.

Would it scorch and burn the tomatoes? Well, I had enough already so we’d just have to sacrifice them to the name of science.

Et voila. It didn’t scorch – it ended up thick and wonderful, smelling like the richest ketchup ever. See how thick it is? It didn’t separate at all.

And in the morning all I had to do was pot it up with some lemon juice and process the jars for 35 minutes. Easy-peasy whole food free of all additives and other chemical-y nastiness.

And now I know exactly how I’m doing my ketchup (if I’m lucky enough to get another load of tomatoes after Irene all but drowned the vines!)

6 Responses to “An easier way to sauce the toms”

  1. ohiofarmgirl Says:

    you know what else you can do? roast ’em in the oven…delish…low and slow, baby. then bring them to a boil and can ’em up! whoot! i did almost a full canner this morning of maters. whooot!

    i also use the slow cooker for making applesauce to can.. yummmmO!

  2. Diana Guillermo Says:

    OFG: You’re right, I love doing that too! The slow-cooker method might have saved me some electricity, but it wouldn’t work for more than 15 pounds because my biiig slow cooker was brim-ful. In the past I’ve used the oven to roast tomatoes along with onions and garlic for spaghetti sauce…. yum! Brilliant minds must think alike. 😉

  3. Diane Says:

    Genius! I’m having a forehead-slapping moment here.

  4. Claire Says:

    I have been following your blog for over a year and love it! I just wanted to let you know that I did this over the weekend and it was perfect! I had way too many toms and used my new food-mill attachment on my kitchenaid mixer (purchased because we have a fantastically large and old raspberry patch and milling those by hand is a huge pain!) and then cooked it overnight in the crockpot. I have a very large jar of sauce now just waiting for its purpose to come to me! Thank you for your postings… they are truly enjoyable….

  5. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Oh, sweet! So glad it worked for you! And I’m jealous of your raspberry patch… I just can’t seem to keep mine alive. :) I didn’t even know they made food mill attachments for the kitchenaid – I have GOT to go take a look at that!

  6. Claire Says:

    it is awesome, but don’t be fooled, you will have purchase both the food mill attachment AND the meat grinder attachment, because the grinder has the “base” for the food mill. I thought I was getting a deal at $50, until I realized I needed to spend another $50! Overall though I can’t complain.. and maybe I will learn to grind meat! If I had a smoker I woudl totally take your lead and do bacon, but that might be a bit advanced for me at this point. Thanks again!

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