Saturday, September 10, 2005

M*A*S*H Unit

My tomato plants are on, uh, hiatus. Yeah, that's it. I picked scads of sweeties all through July and August, and then things tapered off. There are signs of a new crop of blossoms, so my fingers are crossed, but for the time being we've been buying 'maters at the farmers' market.
What I want to do is keep a freezer full of summer for the winter. So I've been making very simple sauces: nothing but roasted tomatoes with a splash of olive oil, which I can season later on for whatever purpose comes to mind.
I've been mixing varieties such as Shady Lady (intense! find some!), Early Girls, whatchamacallits and other whatchamacallits. Some plum tomatoes, too. That way I get a blend of sweet, deep and acidic flavors.
So far, I have nine little freezer bags of sauce, but I think it will go far. When it tastes this good, you don't use gobs of it.
We marinated a steak a while ago in a moosh of tomato, red wine, a little splish of vinegar, pinch of salt, drib of oil... and it was very nice. But the best part was reducing the marinade into an impromptu BBQ sauce. It came out sweet and ketchupy, without any artificial, commercial flavors. No sugar added! I don't think I eat sugar anymore. Don't have to.


Kalyn said...

Hooray, she is going to quit eating sugar. :) (Couldn't resist.) Seriously though I have not had any sugar to speak of for more than a year and I don't miss it.

I love to make sauce from the tomatoes you can't possibly eat up and freeze it. I've also had good luck with making "basil puree" (just fresh basil leaves and olive oil, pureed in the food processor, 2 parts basil and 1 part oil) and freezing it. I add it to sauces and salad dressings all winter. (I know, winter is not a word that makes you quiver down there in California, but here in Utah we have to prepare...)

cookiecrumb said...

Kalyn: We didn't make it to the farmers' market today, but last week there was a booth selling superripe heirloom tomatoes for a dollar a pound! (Aren't we supposed to pay MORE for ripe? Whatever.) Into the sauce they went.
I'll tell you about quivering in California winter rain sometime. Yuck.
PS: Can I still eat honey?