Crushed Tomatoes

recipe from Canning for a New Generation, pg 166

– 5 lbs tomatoes ($2/lb @ Venice FM)
– ¼ tsp citric acid per pint

HEIRLOOMS ARE EXPENSIVE! Which is exactly what Kevin explains at the beginning of his recipe, so this venture should be saved for when the unexpected seconds or gift box falls into your lap. But it sounded so very special that I couldn’t wait for fate. I shelled out $20 for 5 lbs of the most beautiful tomatoes, which eventually ended as TWO tiny pints of sauce. Oh Kendra, you’d better go fertilize that money tree.

CITRIC ACID vs LEMON JUICE. Tomatoes, depending on their variety, when they’re harvested, and the conditions they’re grown in, may not be acidic enough to be safely preserved in a canning water bath. Thus, you must add citric acid or lemon juice to lower the pH. Myself, I prefer tasteless citric acid since the lemon tends to add way too much sweetness.

CULVER CITY FARMERS MARKET. This is my new favorite place to find tomatoes. The prices are reasonable and there’s good variety—not as good as at the Santa Monica 3rd St FM, but pretty good. This particular day, one vendor was selling boxes of heirlooms for so cheap that I just couldn’t pass it up. They didn’t smell sour and were firmish, so the price didn’t make much sense other than it was getting late in the day. Regardless, I didn’t really want to know.

Add some olive oil, garlic, spices and salt, cook down a bit and I’ll have myself a fine little tomato sauce.



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