knitting by night, cooking by day

September 09, 2011

Harvesting tomatoes and apples is what's happening around our little half acre.  I have spent the last three days filling up my freezer with some recipes I am really proud of.
Apple harvest:  First up is apple juice with carrots, ginger and lemon.  It's a great combination, with the carrot and lemon cutting the sweet of the apple and the ginger adding zing.
I have been juicing for years with a Juiceman, the best juicer I have found.  Usually, I juice just what we can drink right then and there, and drink it within ten minutes.  That's what the juicer people say to do for maximum nutrition value.  But here I was with a lug of apples from our two dwarf apple trees, so I juiced for the freezer.
I love my Juiceman!
Wash and cut out any brown spots.  I don't bother to peel or core since we don't have apple worm/moth this year.  Everything goes in whole, apples, lemons, carrots and the big ginger root.  After juicing, I skim off the foam and strain over 4 thicknesses of cheese cloth.  I don't heat it, just bottle it and put it in the freezer.   It is so good as an iced drink, light and fresh tasting.  This was a winner.  The fine print: This makes an unholy mess in your kitchen.  
It settles a bit, so shake before serving.
Tomato harvest:  Twice this year I made large batches of tomato sauce.  My NEW way saves me hours of trouble and it is far tastier and easier than any other method I've tried.   I washed a sinkful of tomatoes and only cored the ones that had a big stem, but mostly I didn't bother.  Jumble them into a roaster, squeeze in some fresh herbs (I used what I had growing, oregano, marjoram, rosemary and lots of basil) plus 2 heads of garlic, peeled.  Pour olive oil over, I used about 1/4-1/2 cup per pan.  Salt and pepper and add a good bit of red pepper flakes.  Roast in a hot oven, 450 degrees F for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  It will be bubbling like crazy.
 The skins will be black, don't worry.  Cool for a few hours, then pick off and discard the skins you can slip off.  Most slip off easily, but don't bother with the skins that won't.  Whirl it all really well in a food processor.
This is my grandmother's tomato puree-er, huh?, actually called a perforated chinois strainer. This strainer and stand and what it does conjures up some of my best childhood memories, those of my kind and gentle granddad, a tomato farmer in southern California.  I loved my granddad so much and think that growing tomatoes must be in my blood.
This chinois is over 80 years old.
 This type of strainer makes the next step really easy.  There are dozens of expensive, fancy and complicated tomato strainers for you to spend your money on, but I say boo to them.  This old fashioned one is best.
Pour the sauce by batches into strainer and use the wooden pestle to smash the sauce around.  The seeds and skins stay in the strainer (discard) and the best sauce ever comes out the little holes.
Now taste the best sauce ever.  You will be glad you made this, it really doesn't even mess the kitchen much, I promise, and it freezes well.
My fancy freezer containers!

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  1. Kristen, thank you for sharing! I'll be making tomato sauce today. I don't have enough space or sun to grow tomatoes at home, so I am going to the farm to pick tomatoes myself.
    Your photos are delicious!

  2. Yum they look wonderful and I love my Mom's old strainer. I sure remember her using it and then I did and now you. It sure has been around........

  3. I've always wanted to make my own tomato sauce like Mom did when I was a kid...but I live in an apartment, with apartment-sized storage space, and making a batch small enough to store seems like a waste of time. I suppose I could just give everyone tomato sauce for Christmas...

  4. Best buy juicer at Cocacafe:


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