Pasta Sauce and Pie Filling

Reader Contribution by Leah
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I always have more tomatoes than I know what to do with. Every spring, I always say to myself, “I am only going to plant 4 vines.” But then you get the little extra plants growing because it is impossible to put just one tomato seed into a peat pot.

I can’t bare to throw out a plant. So I carefully re-pot all of the little extras and baby them along telling myself, “I can give all of these away to friends.” Then planting time comes and I look at all the vines trying to pick out the best ones, and they all look so strong and healthy and I wind up planting them all. Fifteen plants this year — all loaded with tomatoes.

So, now harvest time is upon us and I am over run with fruit. I fry it green. I eat it ripe with cottage cheese, in sandwiches, just with salt.

I cook it in soups, sauces, quiche. I make salsa and relish.

I give it away to friends. I send it to work with Greg for the break room. And still the lovely ripe bounty keeps coming.

I used to do a lot of canning. But the last few years the jars have not sealed properly. I don’t have a pressure canner.

Truth be told, I don’t understand how to work them and I am a little afraid of them. All my life I have simply used the water bath to can.

Last year I lost about 20 quarts because they didn’t seal properly, so I’ve given that up. But as my Mom used to say, “There is always more than one way to skin a cat.”

This year I have gone to freezing my produce. I set to work and made a huge crockpot of pasta sauce. First, I washed and cut up as many tomatoes as I could fit into the crock.

I googled a sauce recipe different than the one I normally use, then changed it to suit my taste, adding onions and garlic from my garden.

In the end I had 10 containers of sauce for the freezer.

But that still left the green tomatoes. A friend of mine once talked about making a green tomato pie.

So, once again I went to Google and picked out one that suited me, then made my own changes. I tried it out on Greg first to see if it would work, then worked up a batch of fruit and froze eight containers of that.

Now, I am going to explore green tomato enchilada sauce. I think I see another day putting up sauce in my future. Better buy some more containers.

Photos property of Leah McAllister.