August in New England is simply the best there is. Warm days, somewhat cooler nights and full, ripe tomatoes
– life doesn’t get any better than that.
Recently I spent a day at the New Hampshire Farm Museum listening to music, learning about daily farming activities before technology made everything easier and visiting some animals. My favorite was a beautifully marked chicken.
Down the street is Mckenzie’s Farm – a glorious operation with amazing produce, still-warm-from-the-fryer cider donuts and pick-ur-own everything – including tomatoes!
Nothing is fresher then a tomato you picked yourself!
The day’s bounty! Homemade pickles, spaghetti squash, just picked blueberries, 2 kinds of garlic, tomatoes I picked myself, summer squash, zucchini and a cuke!
I came home with more tomatoes than this picture – about 10 lbs more! A “sauce” was in the works!
When I got home I washed, cored and roughly cut the tomatoes. ( I don’t blanch, peel and all that jazz – too much work – and I don’t mind the peels, seeds, etc)
I simply added all the tomatoes to my slow-cooker along with one whole head of fresh garlic and a generous handful of basil leaves from my back yard pot. A little salt and pepper and that was it. I really wanted a “fresh” sauce. I let it cook on high for the day (about 6-8 hours) and stirred it once. The tomatoes were so fresh and sweet that nothing else was needed!
After all that time cooking, I used my immersion blender to get the sauce to the smooth consistency I was looking for. I blended the basil and whole garlic cloves right in. Tasted for seasoning (salt & pepper) and let it cook for another hour with the lid half off just to thicken things up a little. I cooled and packed some into the freezer for a taste of summer sometime next January. I used some right away as a sauce for an Italian style turkey meatloaf. It would also make an amazing base for a tomato soup and frankly it was just good enough to drink straight!
Meatloaf mix (pre-turkey meat) consisted of one finely chopped, spicy Andoullie sausage, a finely diced yellow bell pepper, onions, garlic, basil, toasted cheese bread crumbs, olive oil and an egg to hold it all together.
Italian seasoned turkey meatloaf with mashed potatoes and fresh tomato sauce. Parmesan cheese on top.