Thursday, August 5, 2010

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Do you know what a project it is making homemade spaghetti sauce? Since I was a kid spaghetti has been my favorite. I don't know what it is about it, but I know the most important part is the sauce. When it was my night to cook growing up my family knew they were getting either stir fry or spaghetti. I remember the moans still to this day from my brothers, but you know they always ate it. I have never used a jar of spaghetti sauce. It has always been done by scratch. However, every summer my Grandpa and Grandma Jeanne Swensen would make their years supply of spaghetti sauce. They would stock their freezer full and we would eat it throughout the year. In fact I remember one year when my parents were out of town and all 7 of us went to their house for dinner. Well, I'm not quite sure which child it was, but someone spilled their entire plate of spaghetti on the carpet. Yes, it was a mess, but none of us will ever forget it and it comes up just about every time we have spaghetti. When I go home I often request a Swensen Spaghetti feed. Grandpa Swensen puts big homemade meatballs in his sauce too and they are so yummy. So a few years ago Tenielle decided to take on the task of making this family spaghetti sauce. It turned out so well and is a treat for me when I go to her house. Mom made it last year and every year I say I'm going to make it as well, but since I'm such a busy person it has never gotten done. Well, I just happen to have three days off in a row and instead of using it to go to the beach, I decided I would take a stab at making the infamous spaghetti sauce. So when I called my mother asking for Grandpa Swensen's spaghetti sauce recipe, she quickly corrected me that it was really her recipe. Then why did she never make it when I was growing up?

So Tuesday I went and picked 5 gallons of tomato's out of Nicks garden. He wasn't there so I did this all by myself. I also left with at least 30 mosquito bites and stepped on only 1 tomato in my new flip flops, totally gross and something I had planned on not doing, which thankfully didn't happen until the very end of my picking session. Thank you Nick for your green thumb and your dislikeness (is that a word) for fresh tomatoes. I still can't understand how someone doesn't enjoy the taste of a fresh tomato.
Yesterday my friend Wendy and I juiced the tomato's thanks to Rhea's juicer that she only thought worked for apple sauce. Do you know that I asked the women in RS if anyone had a victorian strainer and no one even knew what it was. I mean really aren't we in the South?

We also cut up all of the vegetables so they were all ready for this morning when I just dumped them all together and then added spices and a few other special touches. And for the past 5 hours I have stirred, added a little here, a little there, took a sample to Sharon who said it didn't need anything else.
THEN I used a pressure cooker for the first time. A little scary at first, but at least it doesn't wobble all over my stove like my parents yellow one does. I swear that thing is 100 years old and acts like it too. Well, this one is rather new and works like a charm. The last batch is in the pressure cooker as I type and my kitchen is near the clean stage and shortly I will have a beautiful collection of canned jars on my counter. The best part about it is the beautiful sound of pop here and pop there telling me the jars are sealed. Now I have an easy, quick meal which will be oh so delicious. And my house smells so yummy, which I'm sure will for at least a few weeks with the aroma of spaghetti sauce.
This is what happens to my kitchen when I can. I'm not quite tomatoed out yet, so maybe I will have to make some salsa if Nick has left over tomatoes. However, I'm sure when I go home in a few weeks tomato harvest will have just begun. Tomato season is really one of my favorites. I love me a good tomato sandwich and fresh homemade salsa. And what about a garden tomato on a grilled hamburger. I know I'm making you hungry, so maybe you should go have something with tomatoes in it. Next up for canning...I'm thinking applesauce. My new favorite tools that Sharon uses a magnetic lid grabber and a jar grabber made things so much easier.

PS. A few weeks ago I made some amazing raspberry freezer jam made with instant pectin who I got the idea from my friend Kaycee's blog. It only had 3/4 cup of sugar and only took me 30 minutes. Oh, can I say it is about the best jam I have ever had. I like mine a little thick so I added an extra 1/3 or 1/4 of a package and it turned out perfect. Have I inspired you to get your food storage started yet?

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