Pizza Time

| 9/26/2014 3:38:00 PM

Sheila JulsonI love pizza. Who doesn’t? There are plenty of outstanding locally owned pizzerias in my neighborhood, and a select few frozen pizzas are of decent quality, but I like to make my own from scratch, crust and all. I think the best part of pizza is the sauce, especially when it’s made from tomatoes harvested right from the garden. Due to a partially shady yard, our tomatoes take longer to ripen, so we're still picking.

Those of you who have followed my blog from the beginning may recall one of my first posts about overcoming my fear of canning. I’ve again canned salsa, sauce and pickles this year, with apple pie filling coming next. But I still preserve summer goodies via freezer, as well. With the gift of a new chest freezer on the way, I’m making lots of homemade pizza sauce to freeze and use over the winter months.

A fine pizza sauce recipe was provided in the bi-weekly sales flyer from a local natural foods co-op. I started with this recipe as a base and made it my own according to preference (I’m a basil and garlic nut). Since I’m just throwing it into the freezer and not preserving it through canning, I can alter the recipe without having to worry about upsetting the pH balance that may deem it unsafe for water bath canning.

Ball makes handy freezer-safe jars for freezer preserving. They work great for my homemade pizza sauce. 

I’ve found that there is a debate among homemade tomato sauce makers when it comes to whether or not to leave the skin on. Traditionalists often insist the skins must be removed from tomatoes. I tried to stay true to custom, but I ended up making absolute messes with food mills and squeezie-type strainers in attempt to remove seeds and skin from boiled down tomatoes. My other methods of mashing tomato pulp through a strainer with a potato masher, or pre-peeling warmed tomatoes, only to have them slip from my hands like a bar of wet soap, were also ineffective.

So, skin it is! I just half the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds prior to boiling the sauce. When my sauce is finished, a quick pulse through the food processor takes care of any of those rolled stick-like tomato skin pieces.

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