Growing up in the farm belt of rural Ohio, I came to believe that canning and freezing had to be done in mass quantities. It was referred to as "putting food by" for winter and it was done out of tradition, family, and love. I remember waiting with delight for the jars that had just come out of the boiling water bath and were now lined up on the counter to cool to pop as their lids sealed due to the pressure change. I remember being horrified of the pressure cooker, afraid it was going to explode like a bomb and kill us all.
As an adult, freezing is by far my favorite method of "putting food by". Especially here in south Texas where turning on your stove in the hot summer and standing over a steaming water bath is about as pleasant as finding a scorpion in your shoe. Since my garden is small, as is my family, preserving the bounty in small batches just makes more sense for us. I don't need 20 quarts of tomato sauce for me and the boys and I don't have enough tomatoes ripe enough at one time to make a lot anyway, nor the storage space. So I was delighted when I was able to make two quarts out of the first batch of ripe tomatoes.
I did some searching on the internet and combined a couple recipes to come up with what I was looking for, easy, full of flavor, and didn't require large quantities of tomatoes. Oh, and I could simply store the sauce in my freezer. If you are looking for easy and small, this one's for you.
Simple Freezer Tomato Sauce
- 3 quarts plum tomatoes, chopped
- 6 cloves minced garlic
- 2 sprigs fresh basil, finely chopped
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- small handful chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- 1 tsp sugar
Stew chopped tomatoes with garlic over medium low heat in covered pan until desired consistency. Add fresh basil, salt, pepper, and sugar. Remove from heat and allow to cool. For a smoother sauce, run through a food processor on puree setting. Fill jars, leaving about a half inch at the top. Label and freeze.