Tomatoes (not rotten)

I was thinking of posting about SpaceX today after what they were supposed to do over the weekend. I am a fan of SpaceX and their efforts to lower the cost to get to outer space, the Moon and Mars. But to my disappointment Space X cancelled their Falcon 9 Starlink launch yesterday evening so I decided not to post on that subject. The Silicon Graybeard has an excellent article on the current state of things SpaceX.

So what to post about? Ah, ha! We have an over abundance of fresh fall tomatoes from our 2 (yes just 2) vines we planted last spring. We almost pulled them up in August but there were a few late summer tomato scraglers. We (Mrs. BillB and I) decided to turn them into tomato sauce for pasta. So here goes the first (or maybe last) “Cooking with the BillBs” (hat tip to LSP).

I forgot to get a picture of the 24 plus tomatoes we had prior to today but here is a picture of today’s haul with one addition:

Fresh tomatoes from the BillBs’ garden on Monday 23 November.

There isn’t going to be any peel in this sauce so we had to set about peeling these things. We used boiling water and an ice bath to loosen the skins and then stop any cooking with the additional outcome of making them easy to handle. Quite a pile of tomatoes, if I dare say; I weighed them and there are about 5 1/2 pounds.

Peeled tomatoes
The 24+ (hey I didn’t count) tomatoes peeled!

We used our basic pasta sauce recipe that we created probably 15 years ago to take care of a bunch of fresh tomatoes and fresh basil using what was on hand in our kitchen at our little ranch of the time. In addition to the tomatoes we use olive oil, onion, garlic, sweet basil, oregano, dry vermouth, salt and black pepper.

The ingredients.

We sauteed the onions, garlic, sweet basil, oregano, salt and black pepper in the olive oil. Next the pot was deglazed with a 1/2 cup of that cheap vermouth. Then we tossed in the tomatoes. Brought the whole mess to a boil and took it down to a simmer.

Sauce in stainless steel stockpot simmering.
The sauce simmering on the stove.

So after a little while we moved over to the electric burner for simmering as, hey, our propane cooktop just burns a bit hot even on the smallest burner. It had to cook down for a while before being emulsified by the hand blender. Didn’t even have to adjust the seasonings (salt, sweet basil, etcl). Then into containers to cool before going to the freezer.

The finished Product!

I do enjoy cooking. I had considered becoming a chef while in high school but events drove me to an engineering degree and the U.S. Air Force. Then again there were some events while on Active Duty that might have forced me out that caused me to consider again a career in fine food service. But things didn’t go that way. So I sit here in the Texas Hill Country enjoying retirement and cooking some of time. My wife is a good cook too though not maybe as experimental as I am. I hope for future installments of “Cooking with the BillBs”.

Another lane I may go down is “Food from Opa Willie” or something similar. Since this is the second marriage for both my Beautiful Bride and I, and my only children are my stepson and stepdaughter whom have me call them son and daughter, we (all of us) adopted the German familiar term for grandfather for me “Opa” since my surname family came from Germany around 280 years ago. To differentiate me from the sausage and smoked meats company in Fredericksburg, Texas I added one nickname from my given name of William.

A point of this post was to experiment with putting pictures in-line in a post. I think I figured it out.

BillB with guest star Mrs. BillB

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5 Responses to Tomatoes (not rotten)

  1. drjim says:

    I’m just getting around to seeing if I have all my bread ingredients. I usually make fresh bread every two or three weeks in the Fall and Winter. The wife and grandson have been baking, and learning how to use the ginormous stand mixer she gave me for Christmas one year. The smell of homemade bread all through the house is wonderful, but make that aroma chocolate-chip cookies, and I start drooling!

    • BillB says:

      There are few aromas as pleasant as those of baking homemade bread. I love to make sourdough bread. Currently my starter is in stasis in a spare refrigerator.

      • drjim says:

        I’m not a big sourdough fan, but my wife likes it. Took me about five “experiments” to get my bread recipe working A-OK due to the altitude here. I’ve got white bread nailed, and this year I’m working on rye bread. My first attempt wasn’t very good, so I switched to making good old, boring white bread so I could get my brain around what’s going on when you make a yeast bread at 5100′ ASL.

        • BillB says:

          I don’t like a real sour sourdough like San Fransisco sourdough. The starter I have is from the island of Ischia just offshore at Naples, Italy. The bread it produces is just about like store-bought yeast with a bit more “bready” flavor.

          Must be interesting to be cooking at 5100′ ASL after years a lot closer to sea level. My current QTH is just shy of 1400′ ASL.

          Hope you will have or have had a Happy Thanksgiving.


          • drjim says:

            And a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
            I spent my entire life, except for business trips, below about 600′, so moving “up here” took some adjusting to a lot of things.

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