Friday, September 3, 2010

Making Tomato Puree

Each year, we can lots and lots of tomato products - salsa, sauce, veggie sauce (tomato sauce with lots and lots of other veggies), and puree (juice really) being the biggest hitters.  I love to make each one of those...  except the puree.  We have and still use the old Victorio Strainer that my husband and his family used growing up.  Being spatially impaired, I can never quite get it together in the proper fashion.  So, we make this process a family affair.

Everyone gets in on the action.  And everyone has a job to do.  Mine is to gather up the tomatoes, wash them, take of the nasty parts, and cut them into manageable pieces.  Nick's job is to set everything up, manage the kids, oversee the Using Of The Machine, tear down, dump juice from the pan to the large kettle, and anything else that I don't feel like doing!!!  (Thank you so much, Nick.)  He really is the driving force at making puree.  I love love love to use it - in tomato soup, making tomato eggs (eggs poached in the juice - so wonderful!), in soups and stews, etc.  But, I have such an aversion to actually making it.

As I was saying...  Everyone has their jobs.  Munch handles getting the puree off of the strainer and into the pan.

Boy turns the crank.  Afterall, he really is the strongest one of us.  ;o)

Sweetpea adds tomatoes to the top, and generally tries to take over everyone's jobs.

We all really have a great time.  Up to a certain point, that is.  So, we try not to make a bigger batch than we have energy for.  But, The Machine only comes out once per year.  So, finding a balance is important.

After all the juice is collected into our largest, 24 quart kettle that I stole from my mother, I cook it down a bit.

And can it in my pressure canner. 

Ready for lots of tomato soup!!!  Mmmmm....

What are your favorite ways to can tomatoes?


Ann said...

That's a lot of puree!

Whirliegig said...

I adore this. So fabulous that the kids are doing that much of the work. I'm also envious of your tomato harvest!!

Jessie said...

Ok...silly question, but do you remove the skins from the tomotoes before you run them through The Machine?

alayne said...

Hey Jessie. Not a silly question at all!!! No, they beauty of The Machine is that it does all that for you - seeds, stems, and skins are whisked away and you are left with just the juicy goodness.

You can see it all squishing out into the compost bowl in the 3rd pic down.