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Homemade tomato puree is one of the most popular and appreciated preserves. This preparation takes me back in time, when I was little, when I returned from summer holidays, they were preparing preserves for the winter, headed by my grandmother, all in the family, including children, were employed for several days to prepare pickles, pickles, jams and obviously tomato preserves. Tomatoes, as well as other fruits and vegetables, weren't available all year round as they are now, and making preserves at home was more of a necessity to ensure fresh ingredients all year round.
The days spent doing the canned tomatoesare one of those sweetest childhood memories I have, it was a very familiar moment that gave us the opportunity to be all together, have our hands "in the dough" and also have fun. Each one had his own task and a hierarchy was also followed in order to carry out the various stages of preparation.
The men of the house, for example, set up work tables in the garden to wash, cut and pass the tomatoes and then built the kettle for the jars of preserves with a barrel and a brazier. The task of us children was to wash and dry the basil leaves or insert the tomato fillets, the packets, already cut into the jars. Then when you became a little older, you could also put, with the supervision of an adult, the puree with the ladle and the funnel in the bottles, I remember that getting to this task was a source of great pride for me, in the eyes of my mom had grown up and deserved a role of trust;)
Then on the evening of the last day, with the tomatoes discarded because they were too ripe, the first was prepared fresh gravy and we all dined together telling funny anecdotes and stories.
I'm writing and I'm getting a tear, the family before was really something else, grandparents, uncles, cousins, we all collaborated for the common good and these were truly moments of union and participation. Today it would be unthinkable to gather everyone for days and work together making provisions for the winter, each of us is so caught up in the frenetic rhythms of life, closed in our individuality, that just thinking about such a thing already seems impossible and then the garden behind the house is gone, where we could ever do such a thing ...
There tomato puree in fact today it has a completely different flavor, it is made for whim and not for necessity, in small doses and I made it myself, so of all that history, rituals and fun told so far, nothing is left but remember, weird right? Nonetheless, it did me good to remember all those smells, those laughs, the emotions and traditions that led me to make it this year and I'm happy to have shared these memories with you.
How to make homemade tomato puree
Wash and sterilize the jars using one of these methods.
Remove the stalks from the tomatoes, wash them thoroughly, dry them and then cut them into quarters and remove the seeds.
Proceed by cutting each tomato into cubes.
Now cook them in a saucepan over low heat for about twenty minutes, until they are very soft.
Pass them through a vegetable mill by placing it on a very large bowl. If the tomato puree does not seem thick, let it thicken on the heat until it reaches the desired consistency.
With the help of a funnel, pour the puree into the sterilized jars, adding a few basil leaves. Be careful to leave some space from the edge of the jar.
Now close the jars and immerse them in a large pot with water, wrapped in a cloth to prevent them from colliding with each other during cooking, thus risking breaking, and simmer for 30 minutes after it has boiled.
Allow the jars to cool completely before removing them from the pot. Your homemade tomato puree is ready to be placed in the pantry.