My Sauce Maker has been getting a good work out, Apple sauce, Tomato sauce, Salsa, and yesterday Silky Smooth Peach Butter..
As I was working my way though turning two bushels of peaches into sauce that by ends day was canned up and cooling on the counter, I gave the mental nod to my Victorio Food Strainer, I am pretty sure that most of my regular readers already own one of these and use it yearly but for anyone just starting out in gardening and at this moment have a flood of tomato’s and they are dipping them in boiling hot water, skinning them, deseeding them and then simmering for days it seems to thicken them up.. let me tell you.. there is a better way..
The Victorio comes with the tomato/apple sauce screen in the box and it means that you can just cut out blemishes (and yes you should still cut out blemishes) and you do need to cut the tomato to the size needed, that means half or quarters for most but if you grew Mortgage Lifter Tomato’s, you will need to cut it into 6 or even 8 peices to get it down that the feeding tube but o once they fit,, crank the handle and out the one end comes skins, seeds and cores.. and your chickens or ducks or pig will eat that will a smile..
Wait, are you super frugal?? I mean every little thing counts right now.. then take the time to core out the tomato when you are prepping them, so that only the skins and seeds come out and you can oven dry them and then grind them to a tomato powder to add to soups at a later point.
Back at the machine, out the side is coming the tomato juice and pulp that makes up your tomato sauce, its truly beautiful and yes you can even throw down that 5 or 6 dozen extra cherry tomato’s if you want because how can you use them in time..
Now if you can that sauce as is, depending on the tomato’s you will get a range, if its a good roma/saucer tomato, 10 to 25% will be juice at the bottom and the rest sauce.. and that’s great, nothing wrong with that at all if you have lots of jars, space and you mainly use your sauce for soups, stews and you like to simmer it down in the winter when it will warm the house..
Or you can simmer it down by 25% before canning and you will save jars and get a much thicker sauce.. if you are using slicers and you can do so.. make your sauce, then fridge it overnight, heck if you need to use your cooler and some ice and fridge it in huge pots/tubs whatever you want.. by morning, it will have naturally split and man, let me tell you the time saving of being able to pull the thicker from the juice is huge.. the energy costs are so worth that small extra step.
But wait.. that is the tip of the iceburg.. you need to get the extra screens.. they are sold as their own set and while almost all hardware stores or feed stores or even canadian tire will have the Victorio Strainer in stock, the odds are you will need to order in the extras or buy them online.. but its worth that extra step..
It will give you
- the Grape/Berry screen.. love black berry jam but hate the seeds.. its a dream to make with the berry screen.. one of the best things about the berry screen, the berrys are all so small that they never need precooking, just wash, clean up and away you go!.. (see the helpful hint, do consider drying the skins/seeds for both baking and even to add a pinch to your homemade tea blends for color and flavour.
- Pumpkin/sqaush screen.. love pumpkin pie or squash soups and so on.. while you do need to cook the flesh, its still one of the fastest ways to get a perfect smooth sauce and it makes canning up any kind of these into a broth/soup quick and easy with no need to hit the blender to “cream” it
- Salsa Screen – It works like a trick and then some.. it also works on Zuccihni for large amounts to be bagged up and is much easier then grating it by hand, plus no risk of knicks on your knuckles
This system gets a solid 4.8 out of me.. I love it! the only reason it gets that .2 less then a 5 star
- it can be a touch tricky to get to fit together and there is nothing worse then that screen popping off.. but really its human error lol
- I find when it full use and really going, you can get a tiny bit of leek at the rim where the fill topper meets the metal and at times you have to help hold it in place depending what you are working with.. again minor but real at the same time.
Now there are some things that I have multiples of in the house because the idea of one breaking down and leaving me without makes me go .. NOooo.. this is one of them..
First I love that I have two of them for when I am having a canning party, man can you process fast with both of these going.. (I also have a third one that was missing a single part that I picked up at the second hand shop for replacement parts)
If you do not have one of these yet in your garden, pantry, canning kitchen.. I highly recommend you get one!