Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce & Bread, Anyone?

MMMmmm....That's the sound I keep making as I work in the kitchen today.  The pizza/spaghetti sauce has simmered to perfection and the jars are popping as they seal.  French bread is rising and home-grown beans are cooling in the fridge.  To top it all off, we'll finish the locally-grown Kimberly peach pie from yesterday.  Thank you, Mennonite ancestors, for the amazing recipes, love of cooking & baking and my curvy figure!

Here are the recipes I've adapted from the Fairview Favorites II cookbook, the Mennonite church where I grew up in Albany, Oregon. 

French Bread - (Italian-style soft loaves)
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 T. shortening or lard
2 c. boiling water
Combine in a large bowl and let set until warm.  Add 1/2 c. warm water, 1 Tbsp. dry yeast and 1 T. sugar; stir until yeast dissolves.  Mix in 6 c. bread flour.  Work down with spoon every 10 minutes 4-5 times.  Divide into 2 balls. Let rest for 10 min.  Roll out into 1/2 inch thick rectangle (as for jelly roll); roll up and place on greased cookie sheet.  Let rise until double; slash tops several times.  brush top with 1 beaten egg and 2 Tbsp. milk, mixed.  Bake at 375' for 25 min or in convection oven 365' for 18 min.  

Tomato Sauce To Can
4 gal fresh tomatos
4-6 peppers, bell or anaheim
4 large onions, peeled
3 carrots. peeled
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 jalapeno peppers (optional)
Wash then crush veggies in a food processor or blender.  Heat to a boil in heavy pan and cover.  Simmer 20 minutes. Sieve and discard pulp.  Add to puree:
2 Tbsp. Oregano
2 Tbsp. basil
3 Bay leaves
1/2 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. salt
Simmer puree uncovered until thick, 2-4 hours.  (To speed thickening and make the sauce go farther, I add 48 oz. tomato paste near the end of cooking.)  Pour into sterile jars.  Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice per pint or 2 Tbsp. lemon juice per quart.  Process in pressure canner at 15 lbs for 15 minutes or Hot Water bath 45 minutes for pints/ 55 minutes for qts.  Yields about 12 pints.  

This is my first year canning tomato sauce and let me tell you, it is amazing!  So full of flavor and delicious as a pizza sauce or pasta sauce.  I've made two batches so maybe someone will get lucky and I'll share at Christmas! 

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