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, August 24, 2016

A Whole Lot Goin' On

Beets are finally filling up my freezer this fall.  

We have a good supply of shredded zucchini, so the next ones went in the freezer sliced.  I know these sometimes thaw watery and softer, but I just drain the water and cook.  We use these mainly in our teriyaki dish over winter, but have added them to other casserole dishes and mixed vegetable sides.  I'll be honest, I'm surprised my zucchini is still producing.  It looks terrible right now.  I doubt I'll get much more, but would be blessed to get a few more.

I purchased some large head garlic (organic) at the Farmer's Market, which is much easier to slice and dehydrate than my homegrown this year.  It's much smaller (in fact there were farmer's selling the smaller size for $.25/each as well).

I did a bit of bad calculating, and wasted some dehydrator space, so I'll be making sure I slice up 37 large heads to completely fill my dehydrator next time. I also have to remember to wear gloves when I slice.  We have been out of homemade garlic powder.

The pear trees have pears this year!  Woohoo!  Now, if I can get some to ripen all at the same time so I can can some this year, that would be great.  I want to try a few new recipes too, and now Hubby wants to start collecting the necessary tools to make Pear wine.  Not sure where to start - buy the kit, or just collect what I need when I find it on sale?  I've been asking folks to save me their screw top wine bottles too.  Down the road I will be making other fruit wine, including elderberry, plum, peach, and raspberry.  I could make blueberry too, but would have to buy the blueberries.  Hm.  Another reason to plant the apricot tree, and one more plum tree. 

It's a busy week this week.  The girls started school today.  It's me and the dogs from now on.  I hope I can handle tomato season without a dog fence.  Please ignore my dirty window, ha ha!

Yesterday morning, this happened.....
I wanted it, and now it arrived - 47 1/2 pounds of pure, homegrown tomatoes. 

1 1/2# of grape tomatoes.

So, when the tomatoes talk, I do the walk.  My entire day that I planned in the kitchen changed in a moment.  This is the first year to can a full 45 pound batch of tomato sauce.  I don't remember it taking so long.

It's all cooked down, until tomatoes are soft, then .....

...into the sauce maker to remove the seeds and peelings.

Then it's back on the stove to reduce by half.  I had my two biggest pots going until I could put it all in one large pot. 

While that continued to reduce, I managed to get these mingling peppers in the freezer.  Saving them from King, the table surfing dog.

I was thankful the garlic was not ready to grind up by the time I retired.  I pretty much collapsed in bed.  Hubby worked overtime too.  

Zuri helped clean myself up by licking all the tomato splatters off my feet, however....

...she ate the thumb off my 20-some year-old, very expensive oven mitt.  She ate the other one early on.  I was canning at 9pm last night, and I guess too tired to put the mitts away.  Now I'm searching for a place to buy a good set that are good for up to 500°F.


Kim said...

Yippy for the tomatoes. And yes late August and Sept. is when the canning hits full steam. I hope you have a huge harvest of everything you need this year.

Kristina said...

Kim, the entire time we planted, I prayed the Good Lord would give me the energy to do all the "puttin'up" involved. This is the very first year to can a full 45 lb. batch of sauce. It was a long day and night, but I am so thankful for this year to restock.

Sam I Am...... said...

So glad you got the tomatoes you if you can just survive canning season. I had a terrible year here for plants of any kind. Bugs took over everything even my zinnias! They're flowering but the leaves have all kinds of spots. Something got my green peppers and I only got 1 from 6 plants and something got the tomatoes too so I am officially done gardening in Arkansas! LOL! The only thing that does well are my herbs. I sprayed a water/detergent bug spray but I might have been too late. With company for 2 weeks I wasn't paying close enough attention but not sure that would have made a difference. My herbs are good though.

Kristina said...

Sam I Am, I have to check my fruit trees often. We either get worms or beetles. I just pick them off, but you are right. If I don't check them for weeks I usually have a problem to deal with. Glad your herbs are doing well.

RB said...

We canned tomatoes when I was a child. From your story, I could easily remember the yummy scents of tomatoes cooking on top of the stove pre-canning. Yum.
Prayers everyone has a wonderful weekend, and a safe one too, because there are many storms coming and going throughout the states.
God bless.

Kristina said...

RB, Thank you! It is tornado season here for us.

RB said...

September 1 begins hurricane/tornado season for us here.
Hurricanes often spawn tornadoes, often hundreds of them.
God bless.

Lisa said...

I run my tomatoes that are cut in quarters or halves depending on size through the squee-zo I use. Then I cook them down to can. It saves me time I think. They go through mine easily without being softened.

Kristina said...

Lisa, thanks for that info. With my sauce maker I do have to cook them first then run them through.