Wednesday, August 8, 2012

No Patience for Homemade Marinara Sauce

I've long been a skeptic of homemade "accessory" foods.  I'm talking about homemade sauces, frostings, condiments, and even homemade cool whip. Yes, I still remember my sister-in-law (I was newly married at the time) saying that she was making Cool Whip from scratch. I remember asking my husband why she was making it? I just assumed that she had run out and didn't want to go to the store.  I was then educated in how much better it tastes and the advantages of making your own.  I must admit, it was delicious!  But still, the time it takes, and the room for error (on my part) did not make me stop buying my Cool Whip from the store.

This whole process of making your own (fill in the blank) often seems more expensive and more time consuming more times than not.  So why do people do it?  I'm intrigued.  Yes, it's almost always healthier.  And sometimes saves you money.  But it really must be because you enjoy it.  I will say that the exception is strawberry jam.  I have an annual ritual now of making as much strawberry jam as I can to make it last thru the next Spring. It's become a challenge to guess the right amount of jars and how many I can still be giving away as gifts.  The jam is delicious!

Jam aside, I had to try my hand at a recipe I saw on Pinerest.  It was for homemade marinara sauce in the crockpot.  Now someone finally had my attention!  My kitchen had a bunch of homegrown tomatoes and the thought of throwing them in a crockpot and going about my day sounded great.  Well, let's just say, I won't publish the recipe, AND I'll continue to buy my sauce at the store where it's a whole lot cheaper and tastier! 

Here's what happened.  The original recipe called for canned tomatoes but many comments under the recipe said you could use fresh tomatoes.  Simple enough.  Nope!
To use fresh tomatoes, I first had to blanch them in boiling water and peel the skin.  Not only a yucky feeling (imagine slimy eyeballs), but 20 minutes longer than just opening two cans and dumping them in. Plus, I ended up with half the amount of tomatoes I needed so now the rest of the recipe was cut in half.

Next, throw all the ingredients in the crockpot together.  I like that step. Easy!  Especially since I already had onion pre-diced in my freezer!

After the alloted cooking time, voila!  Well, not quite.  I thought it just tasted like stewed tomatoes.   While I was ready to throw it all out, and chalk it up to a lesson learned to just keeping buying my pasta sauce, my husband disagreed.

My sweet husband said to save it and we'll put it on pasta or something.  "Afterall, you took the time to make it!"  He's a keeper.  Maybe I can add spicy sausage to it and no one will notice. 


  1. I think it looks yummy! Would be great over pasta probably, he's right :) So funny too, as we were just talking about what to do with all our tomatoes yesterday and threw around the idea of making sauce--now think I will skip that!

    1. You could let the kids have a tomato throwing contest. Same amount of time and less pots to clean up. : )