My parents, like so many others in Canada, continue the tradition of canning their year long supply of tomato sauce for Italian cooking. My Mom is Austrian, but she has been part of this tradition since she married my father (over 50 years ago.)
To begin, it is really nice if you can work outside on a nice day in a beautiful garden. My Dad has a major green thumb. He can plant a stick and grow a tree. So the work environment is very nice.
Over the years they have collected numerous pieces of equipment for tomato canning. Here is our makeshift outdoor washing station. We washed six bushels of tomatoes in about an hour and a half here.
Once they are washed, they get boiled. This is the outdoor sheltered stove my Dad built. We can boil/steam about 3/4 of a bushel at at a time in this big pot.
Once the tomatoes are cooked, they need to be drained. This is the next station.
While tomatoes are draining we pick (from the garden) and wash fresh basil for each jar. The smell is just wonderful.
Then the work begins. Happily we have a machine that separates the tomato pulp from the skin and seeds.
My Dad loves to operate this machine. My Mom and I are in charge of loading stewed tomatoes and then pouring the fresh sauce into jars.
When they first started making their own sauce, they used to do this by hand.
I can't imagine how!
We made 111 jars!
The last step is to then add the jars to this metal drum with water. This final boiling seals the jars. I went home after this was set up with about 60 jars and my dad patiently sat and babysat this until 11pm. Today, they'll be boiling the second half of the jars we made.
So that was Day One of Tomato Sauce Making 2014.
We have six more bushels to make next weekend....
come on by if you want to see this in action!