How to make a farmer happy: buy 10 lbs of plum tomatoes from him at the farmers market.
How to make Beth happy: fill her freezer with fresh tomato sauce, storing away a taste of summer for those arctic mid-winter days.
I love this idea of filling the larder, socking away bits and pieces of summer's harvest for the long winter ahead. Maybe I grew up reading too much Little House on the Prairie, but I'd love to have a pantry lined with mason jars of corn, peaches, apples, tomatoes...and although canning isn't as intimidating as it appears, the freezer now makes it so easy to store food for winter. Buy in bulk at the farmers market and put it away for the winter - it's such a joy to find a bag of frozen green beans or a bowl of this fresh tomato sauce in the freezer in the middle of January.
Fresh Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Fine Cooking, I'm not usually one to be picky about tomato peels and seeds, but I'd suggest biting the bullet and taking that extra step to peel and seed - resulting in a better-looking sauce with more consistent texture.
10 lbs. plum tomatoes, such as Roma
1/4 cup EVOO
3 cloves of garlic, crushed (not chopped since you'll remove them later)
2 tsp. kosher salt
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water separately. Rinse tomatoes and cut an X into the bottom of each with a paring knife for easy peeling after blanching. Lower about 10 tomatoes into boiling water, leave them for 20-30 seconds, then with a slotted spoon transfer them into the ice water. Repeat until all tomatoes are blanched and in ice water.
Remove the tomato cores (the hard top part) and then skin from tomatoes - it should peel off easily. Slice each tomato lengthwise on one side so it opens like a book; push out seeds with your thumbs. It's ok if the tomatoes squish in your hands. Chop up any large tomato chunks and transfer all peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes to a bowl.
Heat oil in large pot and add garlic cloves over medium heat until garlic starts to sizzle and turn slightly brown, about 3 mins. Carefully add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in salt, reduce heat, and simmer stirring occasionally until tomatoes have broken down and sauce is thickened, 1-2 hours.
Remove from heat, discard garlic, allow to cool. Use some fresh for pasta or pizza that night, and store the rest in sealed plastic containers. Label, date, and freeze.