Considering that over the course of the summer I’ve mentioned my inaptitude in gardening (well, at least gardening for edible things, I can grow some pretty flowers!), I think you can guess that these tomatoes did not come my garden. This, again, is why it’s good to have friends who seem to have a natural green thumb.
So thanks to my friend DB, I spent last weekend surrounded by the final remains of Portland’s Indian summer as we cooked up a batch of fresh tomato sauce.
Once we had picked all the ripe fruit, we debated for a while about whether to take the skins off. We had enough tomatoes that the task did seem daunting. Finally I managed to convince DB it would be worth it in the end — swearing (with little confidence) that it wouldn’t take forever.
Surprisingly I was right — I love it when that happens! A quick “X” at the bottom of each tomato, plus a dunking in boiling water, and the skins slid right off. Within 45 minutes or so, we had every last one peeled and ready to go. We decided not to seed them because they were almost all flesh, perfect for stewing.
After a few hours of simmering, we decided it was time to sample the goods. We cooked up a pot of soft polenta, oil-poached a few eggs (Martin Picard style) and roasted a pan of vegetables. We sat down and ate a meal that was both simple and simply delicious.
We were going to can the sauce when it was finished but we got too lazy. Instead I took three quarts home, put them in Ziploc bags and popped them in my freezer so they are ready to use whenever I need a taste of summer.