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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Productive End to the Tomato Season

The end of the tomato season came early this year. For me, that meant processing three hampers (5/8 bushel each) of paste tomatoes over an almost three day period. The tomatoes were smaller and needed to be peeled and seeded for three of the foods I prepared for processing. Other vegetables had to be prepared as well so there was a lot of chopping going on.

Tomatoes & Tomato Products

The three hampers (1) looked a little daunting knowing there would be a lot of peeling involved. The first of the tomatoes to be process was made into a little over 12 quarts of homemade spaghetti sauce with meat. Like many of our family favourites there is no actual recipe. I learned to make it from my mother-in-law and over the years have perfected it. I've never written down an actual recipe. The spaghetti sauce was supposed to be canned but my husband wanted it for dinner, something that happens fairly often. After dinner, we let the sauce cool then froze it. I managed to get three products canned (3) so it was still a productive canning session. I canned up six 500 ml jars of roasted tomato soup (4), nine 500 ml of chili sauce (5) and fifteen 500 ml jars of salsa (6). Enough salsa and chili sauce made its way to the refrigerator for fresh eating. The remaining tomatoes were also used fresh.

Old Fashioned Chili Sauce is a rich, aromatic sauce with a sweet tang that fills your house with such a wonderful smell when it is cooking. Contrary to it's name there are no chili pods in this recipe. I wouldn't be surprised if the origin is Canadian. All the women I knew canned their own version so there are many recipes and some are better than others. I've collected several versions over the years. It is best to use a meaty tomato for any chili sauce. While it is a good accompaniment for beef and can be used as an ingredient in other recipes, our favourite way to eat it is to spoon on top of mashed potatoes.

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