Pages

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What's been cookin' and what's comin' up.

Besides the usual - tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes - I made the delicious vegetable gratin that was on Tom's wonderful blog, Tall Clover Farm.  It was amazing!  Notice, I used the past tense, as I have et it all.  I added some chopped kale - I caught my neighbor throwing it to the chickens, silly person.  He grew it then refused to eat it.  So far, I've canned diced tomatoes, salsa, heirloom tomato sauce and ketchup.  I am working on another batch of heirloom sauce and will tackle the half-bushel of tomatoes I felt I HAD to pick this past Saturday, during the week.  I usually raw pack whole tomatoes as it's easier and I can use it in everything.  I do go through a lot of canned tomatoes.  Since someone asked about my ketchup recipe, here it is.  It's from my favorite canning book, Growing and Canning Your Own Food by Jackie Clay:

          1 Gallon chopped, peeled, cored tomatoes
          1 Cup chopped onion
          1 Cup sugar (I use brown sugar)
          1 Tbsp. canning salt
          1 Tbsp. paprika
          1-1/2 Cups vinegar (either white or cider)

          Spice bag:
          1-1/2 Tsp. celery seed
          1 stick cinnamon
          1 Tsp. mustard seed
          1/2 Tsp. cloves

     Combine tomatoes and onion in a large pot.  Simmer until tender.  Puree in a food mill.  Cook down until thick and reduced by half, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.  Add sugar, salt, paprika, and spice bag with spiced tied in it.  Simmer 25 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove spice bag.  Add vinegar and simmer until thick, stirring frequently.  Ladle hot ketchup into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace.  Wipe rim of jar clean; place hot, previously simmered lid on jar, and screw ring tight.  Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.

*Note:  This book gives you recipes to can EVERYTHING.  It also has great tips on growing fruits and vegetables.  And it is spiral-bound, which I find to be a very good thing.  The only drawback with this book is its lack of an index, which leads me to a lot of page flipping, trying to find a recipe.  I was forced to litter the top with sticky notes.

I also -- are you sitting down? -- made a GF bread that I LOVE!  (Kim - take notes...)  Kay told me about it and, figuring that she isn't even on a GF diet so it must be special, I bought a package.  It's Bob's Red Mill  GF Hearty Whole Grain Bread - it's packed with goodness:  buckwheat, garbanzo bean flour, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, cocoa, whole grain sorghum flour, molasses, caraway seeds, teff - I tell you, I baked this baby, cooled it, sliced it, slathered on some mayo and topped it with a thick slab of heirloom tomato.  Heaven!

I dug up one planting of my fingerling potatoes and was disappointed.  I believe that the combination of my straw experiment (FAIL) and the prolonged drought conditions made for a poor showing on the tater front.  Next year, it's all dirt and hopefully we won't repeat the drought.  I still have two more fingerling plantings, one purple and another Yukon Gold.  I took all of the little rejected fingerlings, parboiled them with garlic and then smashed them with a little butter and Asiago cheese, spread them on a foil-lined pan and roasted them for a half-hour.  Knock me flat and lift me up!  That was a little bit of heaven. 

My poor Pearlies spent the entire night on the roof again - in the rain.  I will now have to come up with some way to afford them shelter, the little nuts.  Then they all (except for Lonesome George) went into the coop, ate breakfast and went to sleep.  LG somehow always misses the fact that the rest leave and then he carries on for the longest time until one of the group gets tired of hearing him and sticks its head out and peeps at him.  He runs to join the group and then peace descends.  Oy.

What's coming up?  A very special anniversary!  I slipped yesterday when I was writing the post --  my computer hiccuped and it was accidentally (and very briefly) posted, then deleted.  I didn't mean to tease you, really I didn't.  I am planning something BIG to celebrate my 500th post!  With the way I carry on, it won't be long.....

18 comments:

  1. Sorry about the taters--but the way you prepped them sounds delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue - It was delicious, if I do say so myself. Tender and cheesy/buttery with a little crispy crust.

      Delete
  2. So glad about the GF bread. You must have been eating it with your eyeballs rolled in the back of your head, mumbling "breaaadddd, oh so yummy breeeaaaaddddd....."

    I KNEW you were a tease! I kept clicking on that darned "post does not exist" thing about fifty times yesterday hoping you'd put it up again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate it when I try to get organized and draft a post - and then it burps and posts before it's supposed to! 50 times? You are determined, aren't you...

      Delete
  3. Fine thing you did to us! I was swearing at my computer because the "post does not exist" kept coming up. Thought I was doing something "wrong!"

    Oh, I am so happy you found a good bread. I mean, really. That little (ha!) item can add soooo much to your diet. Good ol' Bob at his Red Mill comes through again.

    I've diddled around with planting our taters under dirt, and/or under mulch for years. I keep coming back to the fact that they always give bigger yields under dirt. (Mulch is so much EASIER though, she whines . . . darn.)

    Oh, to have enough tomatoes to make ketchup again! I'll just keep dreaming of an operational greenhouse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heehee - but I didn't MEAN to, honest to Pete. But it will be worth the wait - I promise!

      Good ol' Bob is right. I've made his GF brownie mix and it is amazing, too.

      The best luck I've had is planting my taters in the tater bag - a special bag that lets you layer, then just dump it over and there are your taters!

      Delete
  4. BREAD!!!! I'm having dreams of BLT's and toasted cheese~a little visit to see Bob is in my near future! :)

    I came home with 150#'s of tomatoes. It's funny, that didn't look like a lot at the time, but now that my hands have cramped up and are no longer functional, I "may" have overdid it. (I have another 150#'s coming next week. Oi.) Ketchup is on the list of "things to do."

    We tried planting potatoes in straw a few years ago and didn't have too much of a harvest. Ours wasn't due to drought, I think the spuds like some dirt too. Our garden went in very late this year, (we haven't harvested anything except a few green beans so far~not even zucchini!), but next year we may try to add more mulch to the potato rows and see if that increases our yield.

    Or maybe I'll just move to Idaho...I hear they have it figured out! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kim - Since, as you know, GF bread has next to no shelf life, I have been 'forced' to eat it every day. I made a killer toasted cheese sandwich with aged cheddar - yummmo!

      You are canning 300# of tomatoes???! Are you mad, woman? I would be sobbing in my tomato soup if I was faced with that load. I hope you have help.

      Delete
  5. Hooray for finding a good GF bread! Don't ya' just LOVE Bob?!? :)
    Yeah, I clicked the "post does not exist" a couple of times too. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Candy - Oh, yes. I 'heart' Bob mucho. Sorry about the teaser - but I promise it will be worth the wait. Which won't be long, since I tend to be wordy.

      Delete
  6. Never say never! There is a good GF bread! And thank goodness you found it while you still had some fresh tomatoes.

    P.s. should I be concerned my word verification has 666 in it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane, isn't that the truth?! 666? Eeeeeek.

      Delete
  7. I think I'll start with keets.

    Congrats on the bread. I couldn't fathom living without bread!

    Thanks for the recommendation on Jackie Clay's book. I love her "Ask Jackie" column. So full of great information.

    I think you've got us all intrigued with your upcoming surprise!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leigh, if I had to do it all over, I would, too. I think they would have bonded to me by now. Maybe. Jackie Clay is an amazing woman - I had gotten her book on how she started and it just gave me a lot of respect for her. I don't think there is anything she cannot do, if she puts her mind to it.

      Delete
  8. Susan, have you seen this recipe for pizza crust??? I thought of you when I saw this!
    http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/08/the-astonishing-cauliflower-pizza-crust-you-have-to-taste-it-to-believe-it.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh thank you for the katchup recipe!!! I'll put it with my other canning recipes that I have. I don't know if I'll make it this year or not...
    I tried to enter your give away, but for some reason when I came to your blog it wouldn't show me that post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SLF - Sorry about the 'tease', but the giveaway will be on my 500th (OMG!) post. I had written it early and it was published by mistake. Hope you like the ketchup recipe - a lot of work, but I think it's worth it.

      Delete
    2. Most recipes that are for canning are a lot of work. But if it will help cut down on my grocery budget in the long run it's worth it!
      Can't wait for the give away then! Glad it's coming! And not already gone!!!! You go! 500 posts!!! I can't wait to get there...

      Delete