Thursday, September 09, 2010

Apothecary Inn's Multi-Purpose Tomato Sauce Recipe!

Even though this early fall weather has me in a bit of a funk (I hate saying goodbye to my veggie garden for the year!), it also marks the beginning of the true harvest season: squash, tomatoes, peppers, corn, etc. I have been slowly bringing in an ear or two of Oaxacan Green Dent Corn. While most of the crop is not ripe yet, there have been a few ears ready for picking. The "ripe" kernels range in hues from yellow to blue, and grow even more colorful as they dry! I plan to grind them up and make a delicious green cornmeal! Considering that I planted a roughly 40 foot by 15 foot patch of this corn (and each plant has an average of 1-2 ears on it), I should be doing pretty well by the time everything is said and done! I was a bit disappointed with my squash harvest this year (and don't even get me started on the melons!), but the Oregon Heirloom variety "Sweet Meat" did an outstanding job. I have about 10+ specimens of it sitting in my field, and each one weighs an average of 15-30 lbs. I think we'll still be doing okay on squash this winter! The Delicata squash also produced quite well, though production began later than the Sweet Meat. My shelling beans - namely the Cherokee Trail of Tears beans - have been drying on the vine, and I have been slowly bringing them inside, shelling them, and drying the beans. I have a small seed bean pile going, and a larger eating pile going!

We have been canning a great deal of pasta sauce off of our garden harvest, as we are big carb consumers during the winter months. Pasta sauce is a wintertime staple in the Garrett household! Here is our recipe for it:

Tomato Sauce:

20+ pounds of heirloom tomatoes
10 Egyptian Walking Onions
2 medium (or 1 very large) zucchini
2+ lbs of bush beans
2+ lbs of carrots
1 pimento pepper
3 jalapenos
1 young chile negro
1 bell pepper
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 heaping double-handfuls of assorted fresh basil
6 sprigs of thyme (pick the leaves off and discard the stems)
2 large sprigs oregano (pick the leaves off and discard the stems)
1/4 cup fennel seeds (garden fresh is best - pound seeds in a mortar and pestle to release flavoring!)
1 bottle red wine (pick something you enjoy drinking, so you can have a glass while you cook!)
Generous dollop of olive oil
small sprinkling of cayenne pepper flakes

Chop up all ingredients and put into a large stock pot. Fill pot with water until it just covers all ingredients. Put on the stove and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and leave to slow cook all day. We oftentimes cook our sauce over a couple of days, turning the stove off at night and covering the pot with a lid, and then resuming the simmer the next day. When everything has cooked down and the sauce is THICK, remove from heat. Pour into canning jars. We pressure can our jars, but use whatever method you are most comfortable/familiar with!

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