I ordered a bushel of tomatoes since a cool, rainy summer was giving me less than I wanted for the winter from the 22 plants I had in my garden. The catch: they were to arrive on Thursday morning and I was going away for a week on Saturday (and I had to pack too!).
But, hey, I had the tools, the space, and the experience from past tomato sessions to draw on. I'd pick up the tomatoes and start. Hopefully I'd be done sometime on Friday.
I got them done in six hours and step-by-step, here is how I did it.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
These are tools I had on hand. Only one was a "new to me" purchase this year: a giant colander for 25 cents from a yard sale.
1. Grill - fire-roasting is so much nicer than scalding/skinning, and I love the flavor imparted to the final product.
2. Table(s) - if you don't have "wings" on your grill, you'll need an additional table.
3. Colander - this year's was huge; I've used a smaller one in the past.
4. Bowl to hold the colander (and drained tomato stock)
5. Slicing knife - to break up the roasted tomatoes to release juice
6. Masher - to crush the roasted tomatoes to further release the juice
7. Spoon - for transferring crushed tomatoes to the tomato mill
8. Tongs - for turning the tomatoes (doing so with fingers not recommended) and transferring them from the grill to the colander.
9. Tomato mill - this is a high capacity one that I got last year for about $40 from Lee Valley. This is much easier to use than the round metal ones you often see in thrift stores. While plastic, it is high quality and I expect to use it the rest of my life.
10. Tomato debris catcher - for my set-up something rectangular worked best.
11. Kitchen compost bin - for the debris after the pulp extraction
12. Pots - one for collecting the tomato pulp and one for collecting the tomato stock
13. Water boil canner - a tall stock pot with a cake rack in the bottom of it works fine
14. Jar lifter - indispensable to safely move hot jars in and out of the canner
15. Tongs - for taking jar lids out of hot water
16. Blender (or food processer) - to puree the sauce and stock enhancements.
1 A bushel of tomatoes
2. Sauce ingredients: I used garlic, hot peppers, red wine vinegar, fresh oregano, fresh basil, salt
3. Stock enhancing ingredients: I used parsley, lemon thyme, fresh yellow oregano, salt, lemon juice.