The Great Mater Quest of 2017

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Ah yes. Once again I found myself seeking tomatoes for canning. This has pretty much become a yearly thing. Kind of like a pilgrimage, though not really spiritual. That doesn’t mean succeeding doesn’t bring me great satisfaction. It certainly does.

Don’t get me wrong, I planted tomatoes, and they did fairly well. But they didn’t give me enough for all the uses I wanted them for. I checked the farmers’ markets, and almost all vendors told me the same thing. Because we didn’t have an extended hot period, tomatoes were really late. Most didn’t think they’d have canning tomatoes. Others just didn’t know. And now, for the most part, farmers’ market season is over.

Then there was last week. I was running an errand, traveling the route I’ve gone many times before. As usual, I passed a farmstand, the same one I’ve passed countless times before. But I’ve never stopped. But then I saw them. There they were, just sitting in front of the stall. Buckets of tomatoes! Okay, I had to stop. It seems as though they now have a glut of late tomatoes, including canning ones. They’re selling them for $10/bushel. Two bushels came home with me.

Tomato Powder

So the question was, What am I going to do with 2 bushels of tomatoes? The first choice was a no-brainer: tomato powder. I had just run out. My thought was to use canned sauce to make more, but now I had fresh tomatoes in my little hands. So tomato powder it was.

When I was a kid, Mom always canned whole tomatoes. I use commercially canned tomatoes a lot. Seriously, a LOT. So canning some of those was a given. I canned 6 quarts and 5 1/2 pints of whole tomatoes (so far). That took care of the first bushel.

I started on the second bushel this morning. Project 1 is Italian tomato sauce. This is basically a meatless pasta sauce, but I generally don’t eat pasta. So it’s just sauce with Italian seasonings. I prepped the tomatoes and started them in

We’re Going to Be Italian Tomato Sauce

the slow cooker early this morning. I’m hoping it’ll be done enough that I can use some for an eggplant bake for dinner. I added some of the new tomato powder to thicken it a bit. Now, would I have rather used romas or another sauce tomato? Sure. But I didn’t have them, so I’m using what I have.

This leaves the rest of the second bushel.

There’s definitely going to be more tomato powder. And I’m seriously thinking about more whole tomatoes in my canning pantry.


October 22 is already a special day. It’s my brother’s birthday. It’s also the season premiere of The Walking Dead. But it’s also the beginning of a new The Enabling Cook series. Now, I’m going to keep it a surprise, but here’s a clue: It’s about one of my favorite things. So stay tuned.

© Copyright 2017 Ida Walker, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Enabling Cook
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