When life hands you tomatoes, make sauce

My Gulliver spremipomodoro (tomato press) made quick work of turning garden-fresh tomatoes into a silky-smooth sauce.

tomato-sauce-blogI spent Sunday following in the footsteps of the generations of hardy women who harvested their home-grown produce and preserved it to feed their families through the winter.

I thought about them as I pressed the button on my food processor and turned a large bowl of yellow summer squash into a larger bowl of shredded squash ready to be steam-blanched for freezing.

I also thought about them as I stood on my comfy Gel Pro Chef’s kitchen mat. We may be separated by time and space, yet we’re still connected by the garden and the kitchen.

In addition to the squash, I cleaned, cut and blanched green beans before carefully packing them into heavy-duty freezer bags.

Sunday was also the day I unveiled my new tomato press, a thoughtful birthday gift that’s waited months to be put to use. It was a gift of hope that one day in late summer I’d have a basket of red-ripe tomatoes ready for pressing.

The press is made in Italy and most of the instructions on the box are in Italian or a rough translation into English. But there’s no mistaking the process: put tomatoes in the hopper, turn the handle and seeds and skin are spit out one side; a smooth tomato sauce slides out the other.

Well, it wasn’t quite that easy. The handle was a little difficult to crank and it took all my hands, arms and legs to get the press to stay in one spot. As the handle turned, bits of tomato flew out and onto clothes, counter top and cabinets.

I selected heirloom varieties for this first pressing, including Black Krim, Paul Robeson and Marianna’s Peace. The dark sauce smells heavenly and I can’t wait to simmer it slowly with home-grown garlic and flavor it with home-grown basil.

That afternoon spent in the kitchen is just one part of gardening. The fun starts when placing an order for tomato seeds in late winter, starting them in containers early in the spring, planting them in the garden and tending them through the summer.

The gardening circle won’t be complete until the dark January afternoon I reach deep into the freezer and pull out a bag of green beans to add to a steaming pot of vegetable soup.


 

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Comments

I have a Gulliver too, have not used it yet but its waited patiently for about 8 years. I only just started searching to find some use tips and tricks for it and i found your entry here :o)

This is my gardening Blog.
http://icebear7.blogspot.com/

I can change your life for the better! Next timeyou are ready to process tomatoes, dig around in the box for the CLAMP that holds the press in place while cranking–just like the hand-crank pasta machiines, Jodi!

Thanks for the tip…I do use the clamp, but it doesn’t have a great grip on my counter top, even with the drawer open. But it’s worth a bit of extra effort to have fresh-pressed tomato sauce.

I hope you dust off your Gulliver soon–8 years is way too long to wait for homemade tomato sauce. It’s time to get busy!

Shortly after I got mine, I played around with different clamps I had lying around. I found that if you added a cheapo F-Clamp to the seed/skin side of the Gulliver base (in addition to the one it comes with) it REALLY adds to the stability of the unit and makes using it a breeze, without the battle to keep it steady. Hope this helps next year.

Thanks for the great suggestion, Peter. I’m sure this would be a huge help when using the Gulliver. No more feet on the counter!

Does anyone know where to get a replacement blade wheel that goes in the hopper and attaches to the crank? Went to use the one my Mom gave me only to find that part was damaged and will not turn. 🙁 Any help would be great! Thanks, Susan

Hi Susan:

Have you contacted the manufacturer?

Perhaps someone will be able to offer another suggestion.

–Jodi

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