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)
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.....