Sunday, February 28, 2010

It Was Hot, It Was Windy and It Was.....

......37.1 Celsius (98f) just another hot day during the hottest summer on record and what did we do? We made tomato sauce. Almost every year (I think we've only missed one or two) since DH and I have been married we've made sauce. We all complain bitterly and moan and groan but just between you, me and the gate post we all secretly enjoy it.
We all gather at my in-laws and set up. Everyone has their set job and as you get older your position in the pecking order rises. So because Erin is a newbie I'm afraid she had to start at the bottom. And that entails washing every tomato (we had 20 cases) and inspecting them for blemishes, the odd worm and anything else that shouldn't be there. She was a bit squeamish to begin with but after awhile became quite blase about the whole worm thing. Did you know the French used to call tomatoes pommes d'amour or love apples. See why?
Once they're washed they're put into a big copper and boiled to soften them. So the fire has to be tended to and remember it's 37c. Blokes love the fire!
The next process and the longest is putting them through the extractor machine. This separates the skin and seeds from the pulp.
Once the big white tub is full we start decanting into jars and bottles. Back in the bad old days we used to use a funnel and ladle, now we're a bit more sophisticated. Then once all the jars and bottles are filled they're stacked into 44 gal drums filled with water and a fire under them (remember it's 37c) brought to the boil and then left over night to cool.
So six hours and approx. 400 of these later we're finished for another year.
You're probably thinking that once we've finished and everything is cleaned up we sit down to a big bowl of pasta and sauce. Well you'd be wrong, we welcome the pizza delivery guy with open arms.


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