A Southern Grace: krim reaper

August 17, 2015

krim reaper


Even though I haven't been what would be considered a bona fide scientist for several years, I don't think I'll ever stop overanalyzing problems and running experiments to prove or disprove a hypothesis. The setting and equipment (and necessary degree of precision) are just a little bit different than they were in my school days.

Our entire garden could be (and has been) considered an experiment this year. It's our first summer in this house with what we believe to be previously uncultivated ground, and neither of us have any real gardening experience of which to speak. We tried different locations and planting techniques to see what would work best under the conditions we've been given. We have a container garden, a raised bed, and several areas of soil all around the house, and it's been very interesting to me to see where the plants are thriving, where they're struggling, and where they're getting devoured, decimated, and destroyed by critters.

The yield from our containers has been pretty much awful--we don't get very much, and what we do get is stunted, small, and unimpressive. The plants in the raised bed are doing much better, though they've been severely plagued by bugs and deer. We're actually getting the best production from the patches of dirt we used as a last ditch effort to get our 639 50 tomato plants into the ground. We expected little from these but they're turning out to be our workhorses.

So yes, we're finally getting a steady supply of larger tomatoes (Black Krims, if you're wondering)(the title makes sense now, right?), far more than we can eat before they rot, and I'm suddenly tasked with trying to preserve them before that happens. Solution #1: Marinara sauce. Simple, flavorful, and versatile, it was an obvious choice. The fresh basil is, I feel, absolutely essential--that stuff is SO good. The Black Krims were very juicy, so I ended up adding some really thick ketchup, though tomato paste would work too.

So far, I'm delighted to report that this little experiment of ours has yielded more happy (and delicious) results than disappointments!

Fresh Black Krim Marinara Sauce
(printable recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 8 cups whole tomatoes, peeled and cored
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of baking soda, if needed
In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Bust up the tomatoes so that the juices are released and they are partially broken up; add to the pot and stir.
Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, sugar, and herbs; stir to combine.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Adjust the sauce for seasonings; add a small pinch of baking soda if it seems too acidic.


Pam said...

Aha! Get the title now! I was wondering where the catchy title was leading. :-) Great that you have tomatoes and the sauce sounds fine for any pasta. Not sure what the baking soda does though. Gardens are an iffy thing, different every year. Happy gardening!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Jealous of your tomatoes! I'm making spaghetti & meatballs tonight, and with every bite I will be thinking how much better it would be with your home grown sauce!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That pasta dish looks amazing! I love Black Krims.



Pam said...

We were both in sauce making mode. I am not sure if I've ever had a black krims tomato before - it looks like they make one delicious marinara!

I Wilkerson said...

So laughing at all the tomatoes--gardening is a wonder, as you are discovering! Our tomatoes are late again but I have them from the CSAs, plus basil, so...

Kate @ Framed Cooks said...

I am so impressed with folks like you who can grow anything - my thumb is definitely NOT green! Luckily our wonderful farm market has lots of gorgeous tomatoes so I can make your gorgeous sauce. :)

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

Girl, I know the struggle! We picked almost 100 pounds of tomatoes so far this year and every single day I think it's done and there's more red and ripe! I've been freezing and canning sauces to last the year! I love this pasta, a perfect harvest meal!

Marjie said...

Try making up tomato soup base and freezing it. Trust me, it's wonderful in the winter, when you can just add milk or water and heat it up!

Seriously, there is a deer and rabbit repellant available at Agway or a similar farmer's co-op store - and there has to be at least one in your neck of Virginia. It really and truly does work. I had raised bed gardens for a few years, until the "little boys" got to be too big to be interested, and while the nasty critters started out decimating my plants, this spray stopped them. I also have been using it on the shrubs outside the house, since they started to destroy them one winter, and the spray stopped them cold, even in February. You do want to make even more gallons of this lovely marinara sauce, right?

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe I've never heard of black krims so I was rather curious when I saw the title! :D Good for you! I'll admire from a distance as someone that kills plants on a regular basis.

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

Black krims are a favorite of ours since we discovered them a couple of years ago. I bet they made a delicious and very flavorful sauce.

Angie Schneider said...

Now I understood where the title comes from. The pasta looks delish, Grace.

Amber@twobirdperch said...

This looks amazing! I can't wait to get our own garden going some day..for now I'm super jealous! Thanks for sharing!

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Oh I love the black krim, also the Cherokee purple are delicious too! I'm pretty new to gardening and I love eating what I grow, it is so satisfying.

Gloria Baker said...

Look absolutely delicious!!

Barbara said...

Hah! Wish I lived next door, I'd help with the tomatoes! Gardening is tough...hope you're going to hang in another year.
Yummy looking pasta, great way to use up tomatoes. How about bread salad? One of my favorites. Lots of tomatoes in there.

Joanne said...

I really need to make a big batch of marinara sauce and freeze it also! Sounds like the perfect task for this weekend.

This Wife Cooks said...

This sauce sounds delicious!