Friday, August 21, 2015

Canning Tomatoes from the garden


Canning tomatoes is not as straight forward as when I was a kid, ohhhhh so many years ago. One reason is that newer tomato types are not as high in natural acid. This can be remedied by adding acid to the jar, putting you back to where you want things to be, for water bath canning.

But, I have a glass top stove and the traditional water bath canner with the circular groves in the bottom, does not work well on a glass top stove. I also have a pressure canner and while I know that you don't have to can tomatoes in a pressure canner, there is no rule you cannot.....

So today we canned tomatoes in the pressure canner. This is a real act of faith on my part. My own dear mother was scared to death of a pressure canner. She owned them, she never used them. I have used them so little myself, that I decided it was time enough to get comfortable and let go of the old thoughts about pressure cooker and canners. You know the urban myth about them just blowing up for no reason what so ever.....


Keep in mind this is a process more than a recipe, because exact measurements are hard to come by when processing produce from your own garden. Also don't be intimidated about canning, folks have been canning and eating what they can for decades. It is a skill, yes. But not one that cannot be learned, and it will provide your family with wonderful foods to enjoy and a great deal of pride for that special one that does the canning!

Canned tomatoes

ripe tomatoes
5% white vinegar
sea salt
boiling water
pint canning jars, rings and dome lids


Wash tomatoes, remove the stem and dice (you may slip the peel* if you desire, I left it on).

Carefully spoon into jars, packing lightly.


To the top of each jar with 1 T white vinegar and 1 t sea salt.

Add boiling water to cover. leaving 1/2 inch head space.

Wipe top of jar, attach dome and ring. Screwing on firmly but not tight.



Add jars to the Pressure canner, secure lid and bring pressure up to 11 pounds. Process for 10 full minutes. Remove canner (do not open) from flame and let pressure drop naturally. When pressure has dropped, open and remove jars.


Verify that jars are sealed. Wipe with a damp cloth, remove ring and label the dome lid for contents in the jar and date of processing.

You might enjoy a jar of these tomatoes in this recipe for Stovetop Cabbage Rolls.

Enjoy!

* to slip the peel, drop whole tomatoes into boiling water, let stand one minute, drain and slip the peel right off the tomato.

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends, if not, tell us! Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

Thank you for visiting such a busy backyard, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 


this post shared with:
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
pink saturday @ how sweet the sound
happiness is homemade @ blogghetti
hearth and soul @ apriljharris.com

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Raspberry Simple Syrup

Raspberry Simple Syrup

Today we juiced (juice steamer) the raspberries from the backyard that had been picked and frozen. We had two, one gallon bags from our harvest this year. Not our best year, but for the two of us, plenty for raspberry jelly.


We have also started drinking iced tea. And yes it is a stretch from raspberry jelly to ice tea, however.....

I have found the easiest way to sweeten and flavor ice tea is by using a simple syrup, so let the experiment begin!

Raspberry Simple Syrup
by the seat of my pants

Leftover steamed berries from 1 gallon berries (any kind will do actually!)
1 cup water
1 c sugar
1 1/2 t balsamic vinegar

Bring to a boil,
reduce heat to simmer, stir well.
Simmer 5 minutes.
Strain, bottle and refrigerate.

Enjoy!

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends, if not, tell us! Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

Thank you for visiting such a busy backyard, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

this post shared with:
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
pink saturday @ how sweet the sound
hearth and soul @ apriljharris.com
tuesday garden party @ an oregon cottage
tuesdays with a twist @ back to basics



Friday, August 14, 2015

Canning Rhubarb from the garden


I have never canned rhubarb before. My usual method from past years is to freeze it in 1 inch slices. then packaged into one pound (approximately 4 cups) packages. My usual (and favorite) way to cook rhubarb is to steam it into a delicious compote. But when I look into the freezer, we have a serious lacking in available space. Only one other thing to do, pull out the trusty Ball Blue Book.....

It looks like I will have ready to eat rhubarb right in the pantry.

The instructions are straightforward and adaptable to use for how much harvest or any purchased,  you might be working with. We had 3 quarts from this harvest.


Canned Rhubarb
from: Ball Blue Book















Wash, dry and slice rhubarb into 1 inch slices
Measure rhubarb, for each quart add 1/2 - 1 cup sugar
Combine and let stand 3-4 hours to juice

When ready to process:

Place filled canning kettle; covered, on stove to come to a boil.

Bring rhubarb to a boil, boil 1 - 2 minutes.

Carefully spoon into jars, divide syrup into jars evenly.

Important note: the jars will not be filled to usual 1/2 inch head space. Jars did fill completely when processed and the fruit cooked. (I was concerned when I placed the jars into the canner.....)


Seal jars with flats and rings, process 15 minutes for pints or quarts.


Let cool completely, remove rings, wipe jars clean if needed. 6 quarts of raw rhubarb produced 5 pints canned rhubarb for the pantry.

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends, if not, tell us! Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

Thank you for visiting such a busy backyard, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

this post shared with:
pink saturday @ how sweet the sound
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
hearth and soul @ apriljharris.com
tuesday garden party @ an oregon cottage
tuesdays with a twist @ back to basics

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Here is what's cooking in the kitchen, Whole Grains Ezekiel Bread



Today we are sharing Whole Grains Ezekiel Bread from the kitchen of Our Sunday Cafe.



If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends, if not, tell us! Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

Thank you for visiting such a busy backyard, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

So much done and now back on track!


We have been busy. Big decisions often times result in big lists. With lots of things that must be done.....

Such as deciding which furniture will not go with us into the future.


Decisions about kitchen equipment that no longer meets our needs or needs replacing with something that does. And then there are those items that simply need to be purged.



We have sold a china hutch, a sideboard buffet, a 1900 Singer sewing machine (in the original treadle cabinet), and a Kitchen Aid mixer with grain mill attachment.

We did have a yard sale, or at least we tried. But with 100+ degree weather (unusual for this area) it was not successful. And while it would have been nice to trade our stuff for cash, in the end we met our goal. Which was to eliminate all excess books, dishes and miscellaneous that we just won't need.

So we donated to worthy causes by taking a load or four to the local donation station.

And now I think we are back on track.


On track to once again process the garden crops that we grew. Cook the foods that we need and want to eat. Try and take a weekend off, once in awhile and just be patient.



Patient that our house sells before our offer on the other home is rescinded.Patient that it will all work out as need be.

As it turns out, patience while waiting is difficult, and not just for the young.

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends, if not, tell us! Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

Thank you for visiting such a busy backyard, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments!