Six UGLY Tomatoes

     First of all, there’s no such thing as an ‘Ugly Tomato’. They are ALL beautiful- in fact, the weirder looking- the better.
      Most of the tomatoes you find in the grocery are genetically altered to get bigger, faster, rounder,  redder, ship well, and…. sterile (when I say ‘sterile‘ I mean if you save the seeds and replant them they will not grow) Sterile. Period. It’s a net loss in the bio-agri-tech-hybrid game.
    Don’t get me started.
    Too late.
    So much of our produce are no longer self-pollinators that if, God forbid, there were a problem in the air/soil/weather/war world we might not have much left to eat. 
     Thankfully there are several seed distributors/collectors that are charging to the cause, like Seed Savers Exchange– they actually have supersonic quality controlled vaults in Colorado and Norway filled with seeds that might save the world (I wonder how they’d distribute them? Who makes that call? There’s always a catch. I’m a member just in case).
     On the other hand, there are HUGE agri-tech companies that are in the business of helping farmers with drought, disease, and delivery (by developing genetic traits in seeds and crop protection chemicals that are resistant to the three ‘D’s’) but these seeds almost always loose the ability to self-pollinate, or reproduce in the next generation. It’s a trade-off, and a serious one to consider (ie: Potato spuds have been developed to grow in drought-like conditions, which are now feeding whole regions in the arid countries of Sub-Saharan Africa- but you can’t plant the eye-shoots for next years crop because they won’t sprout. These people get amazing crops but have to acquire new tubers each season). 
     What to do? What to do?
     I can’t control the world, put the brakes on development, or turn-back-the-clock, but I can grow my own from heirloom variety seeds, save and store them, buy local to encourage sustainable farming, and…. 

make sauce.
(Boy, did this post get off subject).

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All the prep for canning tomatoes

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Six Ugly Tomatoes
(after rolling in boiling water for 5 minutes)
 are plunged in ice-water

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The skin will split in the ice bath.
Peel it off leaving only the meat.
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Prep your seasonings:
2 tablespoons each of sea salt, chili powder, gumbo file, and crushed red pepper.
The juice of one lemon will help blend all of the flavors together, and act as a preservative.

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I add six cloves of fresh garlic- minced.

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Dice the tomato meat and put in a bowl.
Add all of the above seasonings plus one cup of chopped onion.
Fold these ingredients together.

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Pour into stockpot.
Add two cups chicken stock and two 6-ounce cans of tomato paste.
Whisk together.
 Bring to a boil.
Lower flame to a gentle simmer.
Mash the tomatoes every few minutes (I use a potato masher) until a smoother sauce is created.
Cook for 45 minutes until the sauce thickens but remains slightly chunky.

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Prepare your cans and lids following the
Ball Blue Book Guide to Canning
and fill.

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Add olive oil to finish off
top half-inch of jar space.
Cool jars, check for seal, and store.
*You can thank me come January



     




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