Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Canning and planning

Processing the tomatoes was a great success. Dave and I canned 6 pints of salsa and 2 pints of delicious roasted tomato pasta sauce. Our counters are now clear of the layer of tomatoes. Hopefully we'll get some more off the vines this month, but if not I might invest in a flat of tomatoes from the farmers market, just so I can make more sauce. Oh, the sauce was SOOO good. We oven roasted 3 pounds of beefy oxheart tomatoes. I can't remember the name of the variety but it's been producing fairly well. So, we oven roasted 3 pounds, cut in half with garlic and basil and thyme (all out of my gardens) on top. Then I tossed those into a skillet with an onion and a little bell pepper, more garlic and more basil, salt and pepper. An hour later the sauce was done and soooo tasty. 3 pounds of tomatoes and an onion condensed into 2 tasty pints of garden goodness. Completely free except for the water used in the canner and the olive oil.

I'm a little worried about the salsa, it was really really watery, and I think I used too many onions. It was definitely a rainbow, I used orange and green and purple tomatoes. We had a cup full at the bottom of the pan that didn't make it into the jars, so we put it in the fridge and hopefully we'll give it a taste test tonight. *crosses fingers* It was our first attempt at salsa, so we'll see.

Now, I have probably 9 pounds of summer squash and zucchini that I have to figure out something to do with them. I'll probably try to pan fry one yellow squash tonight, but that still leaves 6 or 7. Must do research. Dave has put in a vote for some zucchini bread. :-D We'll see I guess.

Have I mentioned it's nice to be home again? With both of us pitching in, the house is slowly coming back together. The kitchen almost has all the countertops back to usable. :-) Now if I can just figure out where to store my giant canning pots I'll be set.
Next on the house list is finally getting the bedroom put together. We need to get all the clothes figured out and into a place in the closet so that we can rearrange the bed placement to facilitate a crib. :-D :-D And then we need to repair computers and put the desk area into a state of organization.
Also on the todo list before first frost is to round up window treatments for all the windows. I'm looking into plastic wrapping most of them, with some having a second buffer of a wall hanging to stop any hint of drafts. Course that demands I find a way to keep Rienne from climbing said wall hangings. :-D (Something tells me razor wire isn't baby safe.) We did really good with only running the A/C a handful of days this summer. I'm hoping we can continue the trend this winter and keep things pretty cool to save on natural gas costs. Sealing up the windows and hanging wall hangings will help, as will some nice thick wool socks. :-) We'll pile on the blankets in bed, and me and baby heater will keep Dave toasty warm.
I also need to get my cold frame moved from Boone down to the new house so I can plant some fall greens ASAP. I'm hoping this one happens this weekend. I'll plant some spinach and some lettuce and maybe kale and swiss chard. We'll see what I have in the seed trays. With any luck I'll be able to pull some tasty salad greens out in October. But, realistically they should have been planted a week or two ago, so we'll see. I might not get anything more than baby greens. :-D

Seed saving is about to go into full swing. I've got piles of mustard seed and basil seeds staring me in the face. Thanks to my love of basil I have like 3 or 4 different varieties I need to keep separate during cleaning and drying and bagging. :-P Lettuce seeds are probably ready to harvest from this spring, and green beans are getting close. Gotta save green bean seeds, I can make baby food from green beans. ;-D

Anyway. Lots to do. More pictures will be up soon.

1 comment:

Brian said...

How did you make your salsa? We've found that roasting the tomatoes before processing helps a lot. We pan roasted then transferred to a glass bowl. The skins split and the krim liquefies making it easy to separate moisture from the meat. Try sweating the onions a bit, too. It takes off some of their bite and cooks off more water.

Zucchini bread is tasty stuff. If I recall correctly shredded zucchini freezes well. Other options - baked with tomatoes and cheese as a side- frozen zucchini + canned tomatoes = yum.

Melanie is very concerned that you quit your job. The word crazy came up a couple times. I hope ya'll can find some cash flow.