Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer Sauce

I didn't count the tomatoes. It was four ripe peppers and an onion I accidentally dug while working in the garden, but the tomatoes remained numberless and numerous. They filled the large colander, and diced into my biggest pot, still unnumbered, they filled it more than half way.

I have done this twice already -- harvesting and saucing from my new garden -- and the tomato plants are still full of ripening green tomatoes. The recipe changes slightly each time... it must be tasted and tested. Does it need more salt? More basil? Is there enough garlic? It is an organic process using handfuls and pinches and spoons for taste testing.

This was a particularly good batch -- a spicy, chunky, rich sauce that proudly proclaims "You can't buy this in a jar. I'm homemade."

I began with the numerous tomatoes, diced roughly and still warm from the garden the dirt freshly washed from them.
One small fresh onion was not enough for me, in went extra onion flakes.
Garlic powder, a generous sploosh of it.
Salt. Bullion. Basil, and basil flakes again later because more basil is almost always better.
Ground black pepper and red pepper flakes too so that the sauce contains red, green, and black peppers...
A sprig of oregano, and two sprigs of rosemary -- just because the rosemary plant is larger than the oregano plant in my herb garden. I simply pulled the leaves off and put them in the sauce whole but bruised.

It simmered, blended, melded, became rich and saucy. I saved out enough for a meal and the rest went into the freezer. Come January or February I will pull out a quart bag of summer tomato sauce, serve it over noodles and with cheese, and the spicy flavors will take me back to the heat of sun warmed tomatoes in an August garden, to the unnumbered and still ripening tomatoes of a September garden, to all the sun-mellowed days before the frosts.

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