Monday, August 30, 2010

Tomato Sauce

So last week(ish) I solicited your tomato sauce advice and expertise, and you gave it. Thanks especially to Jen B. and Di, who sent me their family recipes! I ended up combining several recipes, because it's hard for me to actually follow directions :)

I will be unveiling pictures soon! I ended up with 10 quarts of tomato sauce- woo hoo!! ....

Here's my preserving count so far:

18 pints and 1 quart of canned Peaches
10  4 quarts of Tomato Sauce
5 quarts and 1 pint of Chili (frozen)
9 half-pints of corn (frozen)
1 half pint of blueberry jam
7 pints of pickles

My goals for the next month are:

12 pints of baked apples/apple slices
10 pints of applesauce
4 pints of apple butter
4 pints pumpkin pie filling (frozen)
5 quarts butternut squash soup (frozen)

Also on the Homestead front, I've got 30 heads of lettuce ready to plant outside for the fall and 20 more heads started that are incubating inside. I also started a few dill plants and basil plants inside, with hopes of keeping them inside until the spring.

I've bought some Seeds of Change seeds on sale for next year, including cherry and roma tomatoes, pumpkins, lettuce, and onions. I've saved seeds for bell peppers, and some hot peppers and well, and my friend Steve is supplying me with some Korean melon seeds that will be an interesting science experiment :)

I started late, but boy did I get going!

What have you put away this summer?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tomato Sauce assistance needed!

On Wednesday, I plan to can two of my favorite foods:

Peaches and Tomato Sauce.

To be specific, Tomato Sauce is not one of my favorite foods, but pasta of any kind definitely is. Canning Tomato Sauce allows me to eat pasta more cheaply. How could that be bad?

Does anyone have any Tomato Sauce recipes they swear by? I've never made it before. I have the standard Ball Blue Book of Preserving recipe but I'm looking for other suggestions.

Calling all canners- Marina Sauce recipes please! :)

Now peaches, on the other hand- we got those down! I think peach slices are my favorite thing to can. They are easy, they can be pretty cheap if you can get a deal from your local farmer on a bushel, and they are DAMN good. Like obsecenly delicious.

I'll post the recipes I use (and some pics) after my adventures on Wednesday!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


This was a satisfying weekend. A weekend full of friends, family, true relaxing, and some gardening. I needed a weekend like this. Here's the highlights:

  • I checked on my little lettuces and they seem to be doing well. I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants here, and I'm not sure how much light or water they need but I've been trying to find more specifics and in the mean time, they've been getting about 12-14 hours of florescent lighting a day.

  • I installed my second grow light- woohoo! I don't think I'll start anything else inside until the late Winter or early Spring, but I just couldn't wait to experiment and get things set up!

  • My sunflowers bloomed! See above! They are pretty and graceful and I'm still surprised that they grew from seed to this in one season! I absolutley love sunflowers.

  • I saw a very depressing and thought-provoking movie called Countdown to Zero. It's about Nuclear Proliferation and it kind of made me want to build a bomb shelter in my backyard.

    • Since I'm not even sure how to talk about that whole subject with out depressing myself, I will simply say this- write to your congress person and tell them that they need to do their part to safely get rid of nuclear wepaons and safeguards to make building and selling nuclear weapons harder.
Anyway.. here are pics of my new improvements and my baby lettuces.

Here they are close up :)