One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One mother making ends meet and surviving today's recession by writing. One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Green Tomato Chutney ~ Green Tomato Relish.

I brought in 17# of green tomatoes before our frost, so I canned a simple green tomato chutney.  

There are so many recipes, I just wanted to try a simple one first.  It filled 6 half-pints (tripled recipe), so I hope it's tasty.  This came from the book "Foolproof Preserving."  It appears I could have thickened it just a bit more, but it was already sticking to the pan.

What was next?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Frost Warning ~ Puttin' Up Herbs

 A frost warning was set for last night, so I moved into high gear and worked on what should be brought in first.  I Cut the last of the parsley my herb garden could give me (while canning)

 ...a few more comfrey leaves

 ....the last of the calendula flowers.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pie Pumpkin Puree

I purchased 8 pie pumpkins so far, and roasted them all for puree.  The first 6  weighed in about 15.71 lbs. 
I typically cut them and clean them all, and roast them all in one day.  This time I roasted two a day, until I was done.  I have a dog that likes to steal food, so I made sure I didn't have a lot going on.  Funny how all the dogs don't touch the tomatoes.  Anyway...

I used parchment paper this year.  I usually add water and cover, but not this year.  It works pretty well too.  Parchment paper isn't cheap, so I buy it at our dollar store for $1 a box.  It gets me through the holiday baking season on a dime as well.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Crushed Tomatoes ~ Goodbye Tomato Plants

Saturday was pretty productive.  I boiled and ice bathed the last 11# of tomatoes I picked on Friday.  Yes, there were more, even after I let the hens at 'em.  Grand total of tomatoes has moved up to 511#!

I got 8 1/2 pints of crushed tomatoes canned.  Not bad for the last bit of tomatoes.  Ripe ones anyway. 

While the canner boiled, I started washing down the kitchen cupboards.  The fall cleaning has started.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bug Catcher ~ Tidbits

We have had an ample amount of tomatoes in the house lately, and the gnats are horrible.  One daughter found this idea on the internet and it works.  Simply put fruit in the jar and add a piece of paper.  They can get in, but not back out.  I added a drop of dawn soap down the center to kill them.  Today the jar has twice as many in it.  Best thing that has worked so far.  We even caught a fly in it.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Hope and Hard Work ~ Appreciation

The other day, our Army daughter stopped in for a porch visit.  She told me, "Mom the only thing I want for Christmas is a jar of pickles."

It's the thing a hard working, gardening, self-sufficient mother wants to hear from her kids - an appreciation for home grown food.  

The problem with health issues today, in my opinion, stands on the fact convenience kills (when it comes to food).  I can only hope that my kids will understand the importance of eating real food.  Even if they have to buy it vs. grow it.

I should have done this with the tomato soup (much chopping involved), but I'll entertain some folks with the art of making tomato salsa.  Mind you this is only one thing to can with tomatoes.  Imagine all the work into our 500# this year.  This shows you how crazy us homesteader/self-sufficient nuts are, ha ha!

First:  You have to prepare the garden, till it, weed it, plant it, weed it some more, then wait for the bounty.  Then harvest those beauties and wash them first with a vegetable scrubber and cold water.  Then fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.....oh and for me it involves planting, weeding and harvesting of the hot peppers, garlic onions, pre-making the tomato paste from our tomatoes, and growing the cilantro.

Moving on:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

What to do with all those tomatoes?

I faced another 8# of ripe tomatoes yesterday, and will be today.  In fact, I told Hubby dinner will be very late.  I'm on a mission to put up all of my ripe tomatoes.  Ha!  

I took time, after the tomatoes were all boiled and ice bathed, and draining, to eat breakfast on the porch.  It was nice to get some Vitamin D.  Then it was back to the sink and stove.  By the way, that was leftover sweet potato/black bean frittata (Mmmm!)