This past Sunday, we went to a farmer's market & bought lots of good yummy stuff. We asked the seller about "seconds." Imperfect tomatoes don't sell well at full price. They require a little work but they are so worth it. Since we were planning to make sauce, these tomatoes were a perfect fit for us.
(I should add that Eric's mom first told us about this farm stand and their imperfect tomatoes. She and I canned whole tomatoes last weekend & it was so fun! We got 8 quarts full out of the box!)
He didn't have many then, but said to come back at the end of the day. We were rewarded with a full box (10 or 12 pounds!) of tomatoes! We only had to throw away 3 of them that were beyond saving. And that box of tomatoes only cost $5! I left a tip, but even at that, these were so cheap!
It also made me happy that the farm stand was able to offload these less-than-perfects toms, and make a little money (although I do feel like we were undercharged big time.)
So we spent Sunday night in the kitchen,talking, listening to music, & making tomato sauce. It was great.
The best way to peel tomatoes is to drop then in boiling water, and then dunking them into ice water. If you haven't done this, you are missing out big time.
So we boiled all 10 lbs of tomatoes, peeled them, cored them, and removed the seeds.
All in all, the peeling/seeding/coring process took about 45 minutes for the two of us. Eric is the superior cook, so he took on the task of making the sauce in our giant lobster pot. Everyone has their own recipe, so I won't bother repeating ours. All I'll say is, add a little bit of Worcestershire sauce. It makes a difference.
I went to bed, and Eric dutifully stayed up to stir and clean up. (Love him.) Tonight I took the sauce & froze it into 16 oz containers. 10 in all. I somehow found room in the freezer, and now we have lots of sauce for so so so cheap. Plus, your own sauce is always better! (Or in my house, Eric's tomato sauce is always better.)
Here's the math:
Tomato sauce on sale: $1.99/26 oz or $0.07/oz (for reasonably good sauce- I'm not comparing against bargain basement sauce here.)
Our sauce: $5/160 oz tomato sauce or $0.03/oz. Even if you add in the time we spent, it's totally worth it. It's delicious, we know where it came from & what's in it. And, it's ours.
We'll be doing this again, for sure. Lesson learned: Always listen to your mother-in-law. :)