I went into the garden to pick 'a few' squash and tomatoes, and I discovered the mother-lode of ripe red tomatoes (67, to be exact). The squash and pumpkins got hurriedly shoved onto the basement shelves (I will deal with them later). Since I had the morning at home, I decided to make tomato sauce. I already have about 12 cups of roasted tomatoes in the freezer, and tomato sauce is pretty easy. My foodie friend asked me to tell her how I do it, so I told her, but she thought it sounded 'too easy'. I explained that if it was complex, I wouldn't be doing it.....but here are the steps:
1. Wash the tomatoes and cut off the tops
2. Give them a good squeeze to get out some of the juice and seeds, then toss them into the blender
3. When the blender is full, grind them up. I use the "sauce" setting. Probably anything is fine - I suspect all of those settings are pretty much the same, and that all of the labels ('puree', 'smoothie', 'baby food') are just a marketing gimmick. Does this make me a cynic? Or just really smart?
4. Pour the tomatoes into a large pot and add garlic, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, maybe a little sugar...whatever spices you like.
5. Here's the 'trickiest' part - simmer until it's thick. The juicier the tomatoes the longer it will take. Mine simmered for about 2 hours today. I just stir and check every so often. And taste. But I don't taste until it's been cooking for a while, because otherwise it just tastes like tomatoes, and I myself don't really like that.
6. At this point, I let it cool and store it - some will go into the fridge, because we will be eating it over spaghetti squash tomorrow. The rest I separate, in 1-cup portions, into individual ziploc sandwich bags, in the freezer. I lay them flat and freeze them and then put them in larger freezer bags. Then, when I need a cup or a can of tomatoes for some recipe this winter, I can just thaw and use. Easy as pie! Hey, I have some of those in the freezer, too....