Friday, July 30, 2010

Tomato Sauce....


This has not been the best year for tomatoes at the Garver home. The plants in our yard look great but because of the amount of shade they get are not as productive as they could be, and the ones in our shared garden look horrible....sickly and partially dying (the bottom half) so that the fruit is exposed to the sun which burns the skins. We've only been harvesting around 5-10lbs. a day which makes it kind of hard to do anything with them other than make fresh salsa. So I've been freezing them as they ripen and then I saved a few days worth on the counter. I think I ended up with 50lbs. total.

Dropped them into boiling water to loosen the skins....

...then cooked until softened.

While the tomatoes were cooking, I chopped our green peppers and onions...

....and sauted them with a bit of garlic and dried basil.

Pureed the tomatoes in the food processor....

...and used the food mill to get rid of the seeds.

Then the sauce is cooked some more...

...before being poured into hot quart jars.

Leaving a half-inch head space, the jars are wiped and sealed...

...before being carefully placed in the boiling water bath.

These boiled for 35 minutes....

...and Ta Da...13 quarts of organic tomato sauce....yippee yahoo! Now I just need to do this about 3 more times and we'll have enough for the winter:)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Carrot Juice

Because we actually harvested carrots this year, and are continuing to do so, I was able to juice the 8 lbs. we picked yesterday.

Steve is trying to hide the sweat on his shirt.
...note to self - garden chores need to be done in the morning!

Our kids will drink carrot juice in smoothies and with our handy dandy (Ebay purchased) juicer, it's a breeze to make.

Tho I am always underwhelmed by the amount of veggies it takes to make juice, we at least fed some of the pulp to the chickens, mixed some into our homemade dog food and the rest went into the compost pile....nothing wasted :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Oregon Bound

We have relatives who live in the most wonderful places.....we should get out more! Last week on our way to Eugene, Oregon to scope out the place that Wilson will be spending the next 4 years (Lane JC, then UofO ) we spent the night at my sister and brother-in-laws house in Mt. Shasta CA. It's an absolutely beautiful setting and their view is breath-taking.

In the morning we ate breakfast on their deck.

The kids were...ahem... enthralled by their surroundings.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Spent a wonderful evening with friends watching the fireworks from the comfort of our lawn chairs (well....their lawn chairs).
Good food, good conversation, and teens lighting fires....good times!