Saturday, January 4, 2014

30 Day No Dining-Out Challenge--Big Batch Spaghetti Sauce

Snowpocalypse is coming.

It's true. Here in Indiana, we are about to get hit with the worst storm since the Blizzard of '77. I wasn't alive then, so this may be the worst storm of my life. Or it might just snow a lot and then be really cold. Either way....it's been dubbed the Snowpocalypse. And it arrives tomorrow.

I had to go to the grocery store. Today. The day before Snowpocalypse. You can imagine. For the most part, people were pretty cheerful. Only the line at Meijer was ridiculous, and that was because everyone in Indiana went to my store. They ran out of carts. I've never seen that happen.

But we are now fully stocked for the next two weeks, and maybe even into weeks three and four. We are going strong in our No-Dining Out Challenge.The kids hit me hard today after standing in line for over an hour at Meijer because they were STARVING. TO. DEATH.

But we made it.

Tonight we're having yummy shredded pork sandwiches. It's a family favorite. This week, I'm using the picnic pork roast that was on sale, but I've used pork tenderloin too. The pork tenderloin is lower in fat, but since I refrigerate the leftovers before freezing them, I'm able to skim off most of the fat anyway.

I'm also making up a big batch of spaghetti sauce. I'd planned to freeze it, but apparently, my freezer doesn't work like Mary Poppins carpetbag. There is a limit to what it will hold.

After some Internet research and consultation with Jen at From Mess Hall to Bistro, I decided to can the sauce. If you've never canned before, there are some excellent sites with instructions and guidelines on keeping food safe. PLEASE read them before you start canning! Canning is fun, but it needs to be done safely.

BIG Batch Spaghetti Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
4 onions, chopped
1/2 cup minced garlic
2 (105 oz) cans tomato sauce
4 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp kosher salt
black pepper to taste- I used about 1 tsp
4 tbsp sugar
2 (6 oz cans) tomato paste

1. Saute onions and garlic in butter over medium heat. (I used two pans) Let them cook down until they start to brown, about 5-10 minutes.




2. Add your giant cans of sauce. I bought mine at Sam's Club for $2.32 each.

3. Bring to a low boil. Add in all the spices and the sugar. Then add the tomato paste.

4. Simmer at least 20 minutes. This is kind of a terrible picture. Steam is hard to photograph on a cell phone.


Then, you can choose to store however works best for you. If you are canning the sauce, add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice to the quart jar before adding the sauce.All the tomato products I used had citric acid in them already, but I prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to acidity and canning. Then process in a boiling water bath canner for 50 minutes.

I got 7 quart jars of sauce, with enough left over to make calzones--about a cup or so. Because I had jars, rings, and lids already, all that sauce cost about $5.64. For me, it's not really about it being cheaper, it's about it tasting better. :)

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