Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nana Googles and Cooks

Summer will officially end this week, but I’ve felt it coming.  There has been a chill in the air when I go out to the hot tub at night and last night it rained.  Every day I have been harvesting tomatoes from our tiny garden and I keep thinking that each harvest will be the last, but they keep on coming.  I had so many today I had to make another batch of tomato sauce,

I have written before about my lack of culinary skills, so making tomato sauce was a challenge for me.  I kept my laptop with me in the kitchen so I could Google for emergency directions.   I found a recipe that didn’t require exotic ingredients and collected the necessary equipment.  The first step was to peel the tomatoes.  I vaguely remembered that it involved boiling water and a slotted spoon.  Google found me explicit directions and soon tomato skins were effortlessly sliding off the fruit.

The recipe called for several cloves of garlic.  Is a clove just one of the sections of the bulb or the whole bulb?  Google once again answered my question.  One of the segments is a clove of garlic.

The preparation process probably took an hour:  Google, skin, chop and stir.  The pot of sauce has been simmering all day.  It has reduced down to half the original volume.  We had spaghetti for dinner, with what the spouse called V-5 sauce, because it has five vegetables.   

I read a blog ( The Simple Dollar) about  frugality and once a week there is a feature about frugal tactics that might not save money.  Making your own tomato sauce probably falls into the no savings category.  Even though the tomatoes were free from my garden and there was no cost for my labor, I have no idea what it cost for that giant pot of vegetables to bubble on the stove for hours.  So we had one free meal of tomato sauce tonight and as soon as the sauce cools down, I’ll put another five containers in the freezer.  All that work to save $2.50 on a bottle of spaghetti sauce?  I’ll have to be satisfied with the praise from my family….

Me:  “How is it?”

Son:  “It’s okay.”

Spouse:  “It  certainly has better  flavor than that bottled sauce.”

Such high praise.  I should cook more often!


  1. Yay! I'm not the only retired person who hasn't cooked! This week I made meatloaf with some leftover ground beef. I told my sister I'd cooked and she congratulated me. Then I said it was meatloaf and she teased me. "Wow, meatloaf!"

  2. But what price that aroma all day while the pot simmered?

  3. And you did have to do something with all those tomatoes, Nana! I know it doesn't seem like you saved money, but you sure made a tasty treat for the family. MUCH better tasting!

  4. If only we could time the tomatoes so they were ripe when we're ready to pick them. GS and I haven't attempted to grow any for a couple of years because it seemed like they'd only ripen while we were away.

  5. I'm salivating right now. Sounds so good!! I have to crack open a cookbook or two.

  6. When you put it that way, you do have to wonder if it is worth it. I guess you found out you were appreciated. Plus, it is better for you.

  7. Your tomatoes are marvelous! We got a few beauties before various nasty worms and blossom end rot turned my whole happy enterprise into a war zone. I'll just bet that's the best tomato sauce ever and that I'd sing its praises loud and long. I'm a true devotee of the homegrown real McCoy. Good for you, Google Girl!

  8. Ah, but your sauce has no extra salt or preservatives! All your ingredients were real food, not enhancers from the chemistry set.

  9. My how times have changed - Google now a step in cooking. I do it myself - the last time was trying to figure out how to soften almond paste.

    As far as being thrifty, be sure to add in the invaluable benefit of that meditative time in the kitchen.

  10. Several years ago I made some fantastic tomato sauce, very herby, spicy and savoury, absolutely gorgeous.

    We had a taste of it that evening too, and then I put the rest into bottles, rather than freezing the sauce in small batches.

    By the time I was ready to use it, it had all gone mouldy.


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