Does everyone remember the fairy tale of the ugly duckling? The poor thing wasn’t liked so much because he wasn’t “beautiful”? Have you noticed that the trend for produce has been the same? If that head of cabbage isn’t formed “just so”, it goes unsold. If the carrots aren’t orange enough, into the garbage they go. So sad.
Well, I happen to love all of the produce that comes out of my garden. There certainly are some veggies that need more attention during prep time due to odd shapes, worm holes or uneven ripeness. Tomatoes especially. Organic tomatoes can be downright crazy looking. They may not be great for slicing or salads, but they make some awesome tomato sauce that can be preserved to enjoy during the winter months. And it is so easy! Here’s how:
I will assume you are familiar with water bath canning procedures for this process. If you are not familiar, please do not attempt until you have familiarized yourself. Wash all of the tomatoes. Cut into quarters, removing stems and any imperfections. Place all tomato pieces into a crockpot. Cook on low until tomatoes are soft and a significant amount of juice has been rendered. Put all pieces and the juice through a food mill to remove the seeds and skins. Place the strained juice into a large pot on the stove and heat to a boil. You may cook it down to desired thickness. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each pint jar. You may also add up to a teaspoon of salt in each jar if desired. Pour juice into jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a water bath for 35 minutes (pints).
And there you have it. All of your ugly ducklings have melded together to create beautiful jars of swans. You can pop open a jar in the middle of a snowstorm and taste summer! If you don’t grow your own ugly ducklings, you can almost always find the little darlings at a lower price than their swan counterparts at farmer’s markets.
Speaking of beautiful swans…as a side note…if you have not tried Golden Jubilee tomatoes, you simply must. We grew them this year for the first time and they will always be in my garden from now on! They are simply heavenly! So sweet, so flavorful! Delicious. They were part of my “pretty” lunch today. Did you ever have one of those days that you just needed to partake in something pretty? I had one today. So I made a pretty lunch. My day went much better from that point on. 🙂