Letting quartered tomatoes drain their juices in the big crock
The last lone box of tomatoes
Here you can see many steps in the process; cutting, milling, composting waste and jarred sauce.
We can see how far we have cooked it down by the visible level of where the sauce used to be. The recipe we followed (Ball, Basic Tomato Sauce) said to reduce the sauce by 1/3 for thin sauce, 1/2 for thick sauce.
My husband did some research online and found that some people cook down their tomatoes in the oven to draw out the water and get them ready for skin removal. We did several batches like that and then ran them through our new food mills to remove the skins and seeds. This method saved time because no burner space was needed to prepare the tomatoes for milling. We would have an oven batch like this going while simultaneously running raw quartered tomatoes through the champion juicer with a blank screen in it to pulverize the tomatoes (also my husband’s idea). Then we would mill both batches at once and turn it into sauce.
Here is the food mill over a huge vat of watery juicy sauce. This pot would then get put on the stove and cooked down for several hours.
So anyway, it turns out that this three day extravaganza is really a four day extravaganza. Tonight we washed, cut, pulverized, skinned and seeded every last tomato. We boiled up and canned all but two batches of the juicy sauce. Two big vats remain that need cooking down. Tomorrow we will meet up and do just that.
… until then