I always say this blog is about a “Crafter’s Life”, therefore this is how I am getting away with this post about Fall Cooking…and Crafters cook (Crafters also do laundry, wash dishes, floss their teeth, etc. but you would likely stop following my blog if I start posting about those Crafter life activities!)
Recently I was blessed with shared bounty of a friend’s Fall Harvest: Fuji apples and Heirloom-like tomatoes.
So far the apples have become an Apple Crisp and the tomatoes became Homemade Pasta Sauce.
This past weekend, during a visit to a friend’s house, I was given a large bucket of Fuji apples from her apple tree harvest:
Arriving home, I gave many apples away to neighbors and friends. However I still had many apples left:
I asked Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) what he thought I should do with them and I suggested making a couple apple pies (and freezing some). He replied off the top of his head: “Why don’t you make an Apple Crisp?”
I never made an Apple Crisp before but I found a wonderful recipe online at the. Tastes Better From Scratch website: Apple Crisp
Peeling apples is not something I get excited about so I enlisted TTQH to help (he has to work for his “Crisp”):
The recipe came out excellent and we ended up with a very delicious Apple Crisp, which I served warm with vanilla ice cream.
The house smelled wonderful as it baked, very “Fall-like” with the smell of cinnamon and baking apples in the air.
Here is a close up of the baked topping (which was so delicious on top of the tender baked sliced apples):
In addition to sharing her Fuji apple harvest, my friend also gave me 5 – 8 pounds of her spectacular heirloom type tomatoes in red and yellow varieties.
I decided to make my first completely from scratch pasta sauce. I have made pasta sauce from “semi-scratch” using canned tomatoes. I have also made pasta sauce with fresh roasted tomatoes. However, I have never made pasta sauce with fresh peeled tomatoes!
I searched recipes online and found one I felt I could handle from Wellness Mama website – Authentic Homemade Pasta Sauce (Fresh or Canned Tomatoes).
I learned a lot from this recipe including how to remove the skin from fresh tomatoes (dropping in hot water for 10 secs) and using an unsliced carrot to remove acidity from the sauce.
I won’t share photos of my first attempt of putting little Xs on the top of tomatoes, dropping them in boiling water, retrieving them, and then peeling them. Why? Because it looked like a tomato-slaughterhouse in my kitchen until I got the hang of it (several tomatoes sacrificed themselves for the sake of my learning curve on how to peel hot tomatoes).
Here is the sauce during its initial simmering before it spent time with my immersion blender:
Okay so if you checked out the recipe link I provided and now you are looking at the image above, you are thinking: “Tierney what kind of brown round vegetables do you have simmering in the sauce? I did not see them mentioned in the recipe.”
Well…those are meatballs. I did not make this recipe vegan, I added meatballs and let the meatballs simmer for many hours in the sauce. As you can imagine, and if you like meat, the house smelled absolutely delicious most of the day while this simmering was going on.
Eventually I removed the meatballs:
And I pureed the sauce using an immersion blender:
You’ll notice the sauce does not look very red. Actually it is orange-red because the bulk of the tomatoes I used were yellow varieties.
I remembered a sauce tastes even better the next day after the flavors have time to “think about themselves’ overnight, so we waiting until tonight to have wonderful Spaghetti and Meatballs supper! (Now if I could have made my own pasta…)
I am always fascinated by the science of cooking and I loved this new trick I learned from this recipe to simmer a half peeled intact carrot to absorb acidity in the tomato sauce. The 1/2 carrot is removed and discarded at the end.
I also added a little honey at the end as the recipe’s author suggested to balance the acidity.
I made enough sauce to use for supper tonight and to freeze for a future meal (I froze it without the meatballs).
Okay, so next post, I will discuss and share photos of how I fold laundry (joke).