Preserving Herbs, Tomatoes and Peppers

The herbs are doing phenomenally well this year, and I am preserving everything I can from the gardens. With the help of my Excalibur dehydrator, I have been dehydrating a lot of those herbs! You can see in the picture that the basil, thyme and oregano are totally full (I vacuum sealed those) and will be starting more jars shortly. After Monday’s abundant rain, there will be lot’s more to harvest tomorrow! Like the jars? Just Ball canning jars and a paint pen! Preserving tomatoes The tomatoes are also coming along and ripening quite nicely now. Because I still have plain canned tomatoes (diced, whole, puree, etc.) from last fall, I am preserving them differently this year. Basic tomatoes are great, but sometimes you want something more. The Gladiator romas Continue Reading →

Harvesting and Still Replanting for Fall Crops

Yesterday’s harvesting went pretty good. Despite all the setbacks from woodchucks munching on everything as it sprouted, the garden (and I) persevered! For the past few weeks I have been harvesting and replanting with fall crops. We only have about 60 more days in the growing season, so everything has to be a short season variety.    Last month, snow peas went in where the brussels sprouts were removed, and cucumbers and Italian green beans replaced the kohlrabi. Beets and carrots were planted right after harvesting the leeks. Today I will be planting beets where I pulled the first crop of carrots, and broccoli raab and lettuce to replace the first crop of beets. What do you do with it all after harvesting a lot of vegetables at once?   Continue Reading →

Tomato Sauce Recipes

I found some of my tomato sauce recipes that I posted on my FB blog last year. These are tried and true recipes from reliable sources and I made them last year. It’s nice to have plain tomato sauce, or puree, on hand to season however and whenever you need it. But, it’s quite helpful to have a pre-seasoned sauce, too, specially for quick meals. Hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do. I’ll be making a lot more this year! Basil-Garlic Tomato Sauce From the Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving Preserving Method: Water Bath Canning Makes about 13 (16 oz) pints or 7 (32 oz) quarts. You can easily cut this recipe in half for a smaller batch, but you’ll wish you made more! You Continue Reading →

Canning Tomatoes Soon!

I’m going to be canning tomatoes! Yes, I know it’s just one cherry tomato, but for me it’s just like seeing my first Robin in the Spring! It starts with one, and then there are more, and then I can’t keep the birdfeeders full. Tomatoes are the same way. You can’t wait for that first bite of vine ripened garden freshness, and before you know it you are giving them out to neighbors because you can’t eat them all. This year I planted six San Marzano tomatoes. They are a delicious Italian heirloom variety that is perfect for sauce and canning. It has smaller seed pockets and more “meat” to it than other tomatoes. I also planted eight Gladiators, a hybrid paste tomato (a cross between two different varieties, nothing Continue Reading →

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls for Dinner

Since the day I planted the cabbage seeds I’ve been looking forward to making stuffed cabbage rolls! With all the rain we’ve had, everything is starting to grow quickly. I went out this morning and harvested two nice, firm cabbages that weighed a bit over 6 pounds total. Unfortunately, with all the rain, the slugs also found them… Luckily though, they were only on the outside and between a couple outer leaves, which went into the compost bin anyway. The insides were flawless! I will gladly give up a few outer leaves knowing that my home grown produce has never been chemically treated. Ever. I made a double batch of stuffed cabbage rolls so I will have a few meals to freeze. They freeze great! By next weekend the remaining six Continue Reading →