Lazy Gardener's Tomato Sauce Recipe

| 6/3/2014 9:40:00 AM

Tags: tomatoes, summer tomato sauce, freezing tomatoes, pressure canning, Missouri, Mary Jane Phifer,

I admit it, I am a lazy gardener. The weeds take over, we knock them back, they regroup and attack again and so it goes: the never-ending battle … I wish my garden was pristine year round, but it is not. We just have other things to do …


A well-mulched and weeded garden is a joy to behold ...  But all too briefly! 

When garden produce does begin to come in, we live like kings and surplus is dutifully canned/preserved/shared. Asparagus season is short, greens come and go. Tomatoes seem to produce forever- once they begin to come in that is. Nothing takes longer in a garden’s year than the first tomato to ripen!

Canning Tomatoes and Canning Tomato Sauce


As the bounty begins, canning tomatoes and tomato sauce is my priority. Some days I will pick a few, or lots- it is always a mystery and it is easy for us to get overwhelmed. Also, if I am going to the trouble to can sauce, I want to CAN SAUCE in large batches as it takes just as much effort to do 6 quarts as 12 quarts.  I have found an easy way to save tomatoes for sauce and process large batches without spoilage or waste; the lazy gardener’s tomato sauce.

Basically, during the summer all you do is rinse and dry your ripe tomatoes, put them in (clean) used grocery bags and place in your chest freezer. When you are ready for sauce-making (October?  December?  March?), dump the tomatoes out of the bags and thaw overnight in your sink. (If it is humid, be sure to put a couple old towels under your sink to collect dripping condensation) The tomatoes will “deflate” as they thaw and leak water. I have read that some people say this is losing too much flavor, but for pizza or spaghetti sauce, we don’t notice a major difference, plus the lost water is what I would be boiling out of the sauce anyway, so it is a shortcut of sorts.

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