Monday, August 30, 2010

Making sauce


Many Italian families in Long Island still make their own tomato sauce. Our friends do it once a year in a big blowout that starts at 7 a.m. and doesn't stop until the last tomato is boiled, mashed, salted, canned and boiled again (about 7 p.m.) by a labor force of Italians, Colombians, Ghanians, a midwesterner or two and occasional drop-ins by Paris Hilton wannabes.

All 40 bushels get a bath in the garage. Some tomatoes get sliced and jarred with basil. The majority go into four tubs in the back yard by the pool and are heated over propane burners until the skins burst. Then they are drained through old lace curtains and sent through two grinders where they are rendered into sauce. The skins go into the garden as compost.

This year no grocery store in town had enough jars, so we drank as much Coke and beer as we could so we could use the bottles.

In the end, we all get a reward for our day's work - a huge outdoor dinner featuring pasta with fresh sauce.










14 comments:

  1. Ciò è impressionante! Suona come un giorno meraviglioso!

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  2. I love the coca-cola sauce bottles - accidental design and unposing thrift. What a wholesome way to spend a day.

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  3. Oh my goodness...could you PLEASE send me a jar? ; )

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  4. I didn't even get one myself. (However, I will get to enjoy it via one of the many dinner invitations we receive.)
    To make your own, drop plum tomatoes into boiling water for a few minutes until the skins split. Remove and squish a little in a colander. Put in a blender and spin a little. Cook it up with some garlic or onions. Great over fresh pasta.

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  5. How do you can in coke bottles? How do you get seals for form?

    I made sauce this weekend and am just freezing it.

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  6. They put the original caps back on. I didn't see exactly how they did it.

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  7. That looks amazingly fun and delicious! I love seeing the sauce in the Coke bottles, too cool! XX!

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  8. V. cool!! This looks like just plain fun to me!! Would love a jar but I'm glad you gave us the how to! I might just have to try it!

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  9. This is really, really awesome. That sounds like a great day and beautiful pictures. Of course, drinking as much beer as you can makes any day a good day.

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  10. Barbara from BolognaAugust 31, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    My mother does "salsa" or "conserva", as it is called in my region, every year.
    But I live in Italy, so that's quite normal if you have enough time..
    As for the caps there's a mechanic tool to go with, and here you can even find new caps at the supermarket.
    By the way:is it a "polpetta" in the last pic?

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  11. What's your recipe for the sauce & the pasta & meatballs. THanks so much!

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  12. Barbara, that is indeed a polpetta. (I had to look up "polpetta." I will throw that word into a conversation at my next dinner with Italians.)

    Anon, the sauce is just tomatoes and salt. My friends cook up onion and olive oil and add the sauce. I personally like it with garlic and olive oil, too. I have never made a meatball in my life.

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  13. That looks like fun (and very tasty)! The Paris Hilton wannabe comment made me giggle a little.

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  14. This looks so delicious that I am now making pasta (and sauce) for dinner. Probably will not be as good or fresh as what you all did, but you've inspired...

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