This year's tomato canning has been different than that of past years. In the past I have put up jars of thick sauce, but realize this does not fit the way I actually cook with tomatoes. When using tomatoes for a sauce, chili, or soup, I always begin the same way. I purchase a big can of imported tomatoes, dump it in a pot, and purée it with an immersion blender. (We have a couple of cooked tomato adverse people in the house and purée is the only way to use tomatoes.) Then I add onions, garlic, chilies, whatever, and cook the purée for a good long time until it reaches the consistency I am looking for. Starting off with a thick sauce, cooking for a long time, then adding water to thin just does not make sense for us.
Enter beautiful jars of tomato purée. I cored the tomatoes, cut them into quarters, cooked them on the stove until they could be crushed with a potato masher, and then gave them a turn through the food mill. The purée went into another pot and was brought to a boil before being jarred. Very little cooking time means the tomato flavor is fresh and will be the perfect addition to soups and stews all year.