Wednesday, September 05, 2007

early girls from dirty girl get sauced

Mmmmm. The 'mater that wins alot of taste tests. When I worked the tomato tasting recently held at the market, most folks who had the dry farmed early girls said they seemed like "twice the tomato of that other one." I'm in heaven. Dry farmed early girls. Twice the tomato. In bulk.

One distinct advantage to being around at the end of the market is that some vendors are willing to wheel and deal. It's all about approach. When I spotted three boxes of dry farmed early girl tomatoes with only ten minutes left for shopping the other night at the BFM, I made a proposition: "hey if you give an end of market discount for a box that's just gonna go back on the truck, what would it be.......cause I could easily go home with a box if the price was right."
"Oh, something like the restaurant price, like $30 a box or so."
"Sold!" searching my pockets "wait, I only have twenty! Will you take that?"
"Sure.....well not a full box" she says as she loads some more tomatoes into a half filled box with a smile.
The nerd in me does a rough calculation and figures that these tomatoes are somewhat small so even 2/3rds of a box should weigh around 15 pounds or so. I pat myself on the shoulder, thinking that these are gonna make one fantastic sauce. They are probably better for just eating, but at the price and volume, I want to preserve some for later. The equivalent of summer squared is gettin' sauced.

I employed the elder monkey at one of her finer skills. Having the opportunity to wash at least a hundred tomatoes put her in the right mood for being helpful and I'm all about child labor.
We washed them all, and I got to slicing and putting 'em in a large stock pot for a quick cook to soften the skins before milling. With the younger monkey taking his first bottle during the cooking, my day was set on the right track for success.

I had two 8 quart stock pots filled a bit more than half with cooked tomatoes when I got to saucing. The 'mater meat was very soft and quite willing to go through the finest screen of the food mill. After running it all through and getting maybe 3/4 of the seeds and most of the skin out, I had near 7 quarts of sauce. I contemplated reducing it further, but it has a nice body already and is most tomatoey. Now, do I can this or simply freeze it? It will live in the fridge tonight while I contemplate how much work I want to take on tomorrow.

Speaking of contemplating.......the tomatoes may be called early girls, but I swear there were a few boys in the batch.

Looks like dirty girl has been growing some dirty boys along side the early girls. I guess that kind of thing happens when you leave the vines to themselves after the rain stops.

In the dead of winter (what the hell am I talking about, I live in Oakland where some years we hardly have frost) when I'm hankerin' for a taste of summer, I'll take out some of this sauce and make up some pasta while thinking about all the tomato sex about to happen. Somewhere out where the the dirty girls grow early girls and end up with a few dirty boys.......

We've been busily socking stuff away in the freezer. I'll try and get to a post once we're through the first week of the challenge and tell about some of the highlights so far.


Chilebrown said...

I bought a food mill from a flea market 20 years ago. It is huge and I need to dry and oil it after every use. I allways wonder the history behind it. There was some other Monkey Wrangler from another era pulsing tomatoes. It still gets use today! Peace, Paul

cookiecrumb said...

Tomatoes are naughty!! ==blush==
So, are you saying you can set aside the sauce you made for a day, and then reboil it next day for canning? 'Cuz I could do that.
Let's continue to talk about a canning date. :)

Susan said...

Child labor - love it! Boy tomatoes - love those too. I enjoy reading your blog -- thanks for writing it.