Wow! The days are flying by here. Where did the summer go? Labor Day is just around the corner and harvest season is starting. I love this time of year. The abundance of everything. Vegetables, fruit, smells, sounds, sights. Farmers Markets are chock full of the best of the best. County Fairs, bike rides, camping, swimming, running, playing...pack it all in before the crisp autumn days start. Here in Vermont, we are already experiencing the cool, very cool, August mornings. Thick dew on the cars and grass, foggy and damp. The days still sing "summer", busy and always fun.
Within all this last minute, pack it all in before summer goes craziness, I am making Tomato Junk. Yes, you read that correctly, Tomato Junk. It is another one of my fast and easy recipes that you are rewarded months from now, deep under winter's blanket, while making Chili for a crowd. The recipe comes from the book,"Stocking Up". It is one of my favorite "putting food up" books. It has a lot of recipes for canning and freezing, and great recipes to make food gifts, now, for the holidays. My copy is well worn with notes and splatters from my kitchen creations. Here's the recipe.
Tomato Junk (to freeze)
8 quarts tomatoes, quartered. I use a mix of plum and regular tomatoes
3 large onions, chopped
3 large green peppers, chopped
12 cloves of garlic
4 hot chili peppers (optional)
3 stalks of celery, chopped
Blend all in the food processor. Pour into a large stainless steel pot and cook for 45 minutes. Let cool, then freeze.
This recipe easily doubles or triples. And, true to my character, I don't follow this recipe exactly all the time. Sometimes I add some yellow and orange sweet peppers, basil, oregano. I experiment. When I thaw the Tomato Junk in the winter, I usually add some tomato paste to thicken it for sauce. It works great for chilis, soups and stews.