Tonight I made 10 pints of tomato sauce. I started with two full stew pots of plum tomatoes (one after the other because who has two pots that size?), cooked down to pulp and drained. Tonight I put the cooled mess through the food strainer. I like the Victorio mill – the hopper is big enough to accommodate half the pot at once and the mechanism is smooth and easy to turn. It’s a little messy but I think that’s the nature of the process – turning fruit into puree – rather than the machine.
The clamp is narrow and won’t fit on just any surface. You need a sturdy table or, in this case, the tin edge of the Hoosier cabinet. I put a section of newspaper on the floor and clear everything out of the sink in preparation. The parts fit together and come apart easily – which is nice when you’re processing peaches and find you’ve missed a pit and everything grinds (literally) to a halt until you fish it out.
Now the steam canner is full of pints of bright red tomato sauce, and the kitchen table is crowded with last night’s crop of grape juice and food mill parts. There’s no better way to spend the first cool nights of September.