It has been a marvelous year for tomatoes around here, even though they got off to a late start due to a chilly spring. I have canned tomatoes and juice, and my daughter has hauled bushels of tomatoes to work to pass out amongst her co-workers. The supply is slowing down and the tomatoes are getting smaller. Blight has almost killed the heirloom varieties, while the blight-resistant plants look as though they will give us tomatoes until frost, and even after, if I pick some of the green ones and bring them inside.
I'm sick of messing with tomatoes now. I don't need to can any more. A while back I tried my hand at sauce. Thanks to advice from a friend who had already been down that road, I knew I should put the juice in my heaviest pan to reduce it to sauce; a light-weight pan, she told me, would cause the juice/sauce to burn and stick to the bottom.
Now, my Ball Blue Book said to reduce the juice 50% and it would be sauce. Perhaps they assumed I would be using Roma tomatoes, which don't produce as much juice as regular ones, because when it was reduced by half, it was about the thickness of commercially canned tomato juice.
I canned the sauce in half-pint jars and came up with six jars. You can buy tomato sauce for fifty cents a can. I cooked all day long, made a big mess, and had three bucks' worth of product at the end. Not worth it, I decided. I probably used three bucks' worth of propane!
So guess what I'm doing today? Making more sauce. I had all these ripe tomatoes sitting around the kitchen in buckets and I just hated to think about tossing them out. I guess there's the pride of making it myself to be considered.