ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

A locavore moves from Wisconsin to New Hampshire and rediscovers what "local" means.

Smells like Tomato Sauce.

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This morning at the Norwich Farmers’ Market, we picked up ingredients to make tomato sauce. 8 lbs (ppw) of tomatoes from Ray Williams at Back Beyond Farm of Chelsea, VT, 2 onions from Luna Bleu Farm, and 2 heads of garlic from Craig at Echo Hill. I can’t can anything, since I don’t have any jars nor the extra capital to invest in jars, so we’re relying more on the freezer this fall than normal.

My typical routine is to buy boxes of tomato “seconds” – perfectly fine tomatoes that may be a little too “ugly” for the other picky clientele at the farmers’ market – and convert ugly tomatoes into quarts of shelf-stable canned tomato sauce. We have a food processor attachment for our stand mixer that can turn 8 lbs of tomatoes into puree in 10 minutes. The puree cooks in the oven over night to reduce by half. I make sauce on day 1, and can it on day 2.

This is not my typical routine. First, I’m only making sauce from 8 lbs of tomatoes. In a typical year, I would process 50 lbs. Second, I can’t can, as I said above, so I’m stuck freezing sauce. It comes out OK, but I don’t like putting the sauce into freezer bags. Either I have to handle really hot sauce in thin plastic bags, or I have to take the risk of letting the sauce cool (BACTERIA!!!) and filling the bags with cooled sauce (CONTAMINATION!).

So, the house apartment smells like cooking tomatoes. Sam points out that I’m still wearing an apron. Psah!

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