Dehydrating Tomatoes

Dehydrating Tomatoes

So what do you do with tomatoes when you’ve already canned 3 batches of soup, and made salsa?  Well, when you have a dehydrator, you slice them up and dehydrate!       You simply cut the Romas in half and the large slicing tomatoes in 1/4′” slices then scoop out the seeds.  Arrange the sliced tomato halves cut side up on each dehydrator tray. Lightly salt the tomatoes. Turn on your dehydrator to 135- 140 degrees and leave it alone for 16 – 20  hours.  Check on them. The larger Romas will probably need more time.  They should be slightly flexible and not so brittle they’ll break. Just nice and dried. Store in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge or freezer or 6-9...

“Oh How Good It Is”

Oh How Good It Is by Keith & Kristen Getty 1. Oh how good it is When the family of God Dwells together in spirit In faith and unity. Where the bonds of peace, Of acceptance and love Are the fruit of His presence Here among us. CHORUS So with one voice we’ll sing to the Lord And with one heart we’ll live out His word Till the whole earth sees The Redeemer has come For He dwells in the presence of His people. 2. Oh how good it is On this journey we share To rejoice with the happy And weep with those who mourn. For the weak find strength The afflicted find grace When we offer the blessing Of belonging. CHORUS 3. Oh how good it is To embrace His command To prefer one another Forgive as He forgives. When we live as one We all share in the love Of the Son with the Father And the Spirit. CHORUS Nothing like cutting up tomatoes, onions, celery, peppers, and herbs for more tomato soup, AGAIN, with my daughter Kaitlyn and singing along to some great gospel music!  This song really spoke to me as we were working in the kitchen. To quote the Getty’s, ” How good it is to worship with God’s people and   …with one voice we’ll sing to the Lord And with one heart we’ll live out His word Till the whole earth sees The Redeemer has come For He dwells in the presence of His people.‘” May we remember this weekend who created us and who we live for… Jesus...
Canning Tomato Soup

Canning Tomato Soup

Well, the tomatoes keep on coming, so today I decided to can some tomato soup!  Our family loves Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese sandwiches for Sunday lunch.  So here’s the recipe I used from www.thebakingbeauties.com   They have a website all about eating gluten-free and she just published a book. Canned Tomato Soup Author: Jeanine Friesen Recipe type: Canning Yields 8-10 pints. (I had approximately 48 cups of tomatoes and yielded 7 Quart jars) Ingredients 1 1/2 ice cream pails (24 cups) tomatoes, cut into chunks (I prefer to use Roma tomatoes because they are less juicy than other tomatoes 2 cups chopped celery (4 cups to double) 4 cups onions, roughly chopped ( I didn’t double the onions) 2 large green peppers, chopped (about 2 cups)  ( I had 3 cups) 1 small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped (about 3/4 – 1 cup chopped) 1-2 bay leaves (I used a handful of oregano & basil  because that’s what I had in my herb garden) 1/2 tsp whole cloves Instructions Put chopped tomato into a large stock pot. Mash them with a potato masher to extract some of the juice. Begin to heat the tomatoes on a low-medium temperature while you prepare the rest of the vegetables. Add the rest of the ingredients to the tomatoes, and bring the mixture up to a boil over medium – medium/high heat, stirring often, being careful not to burn. Once ingredients have come to a boil, reduce heat and allow the vegetables to slowly boil for another 2 hours, or until the vegetables are all very soft.  Remove bay leaf (if you can find it,...
Canning Tomatoes, Peaches, and Concord Grapes

Canning Tomatoes, Peaches, and Concord Grapes

This week was a week of canning in my kitchen!  My parents picked peaches this week and dropped off a basket, my tomatoes produced at a tremendous rate, and my grape vine was ready to be picked. So I searched for recipes….my first job was to prepare the grapes and search out some more canning jars, of all sizes.  My family loves grape jelly so I used the jelly recipe in the Pomona  Pectin box because it doesn’t use as much sugar as other pectin. The other jars I have on the shelf  are whole tomatoes and Peach Salsa.  The whole tomatoes are so easy to can and then you have whole tomatoes ready for salsa, sauce, soup or chutney.  You basically drop them in a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes, cool in a bowl of ice water, then the skins slide right off.  When your jars are clean and sanitized you fill the jars with the tomatoes, add 2 T of lemon juice and fill the jar with boiling hot water from a hot kettle, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.  Put the  lids on which have been softening in a small pot of boiling water, tighten the rings on and when you have seven jars filled, process in a canner or hot water bath for 45 minutes.  Remove and let cool. The Peach Salsa recipe I used from pickyourown.org  This recipe was a bit more involved but fun to do.  I used a lot of my own produce, all but the peaches and apples! What a beautiful day for canning, I hope you can enjoy these...

Canning Pickle Relish

Saturday was pickle relish day.  After picking some large cucumbers at a friends house and then at my house I decided to can some pickle relish.  My peppers were ready, the banana pepper plant was heavy with peppers and the Orange Globe peppers were bright orange and ready to be picked.  I pulled a few onions from our garden and was ready to get started.  I used the recipe from the  Preserving the Harvest book for Sweet Pickle Relish. 3 qts cucumbers, scrubbed and chopped                                  3 c banana peppers, seeded and chopped 3 c orange ball peppers, seeded and chopped 1 c onions, chopped 8 c water 4 c ice cubes 3/4 c salt 4 t ground turmeric 4 t yellow mustard seeds 4 t whole allspice 6 c distilled white vinegar 2 c raw sugar In a 12 qt saucepan or bowl, combine the vegetables, water, ice and salt; let stand for 4 hours.  Drain and recover with fresh ice water  for 1 more hour.  Drain thoroughly.  Use a food processor to chop the vegetables then put back in bowl. Combine the spices in a cheesecloth bag.  Place the spice bag, vinegar, and sugar in a 4 qt saucepan and heat to boiling.  Pour the vinegar syrup over the vegetable and refrigerate for 24 hours. Heat the mixture to boiling and ladle into sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head-space.  Cap and seal.  Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water-bath canner. (Makes nine 1-pint...

Apricot Lavender Butter

This is a new thing for me, fruit butters, but I’m excited to try!  I did not have Lavender so I used Chocolate Mint Tea that was growing in my garden.  It smells so yummy! This recipe, like the canning recipe, is from http://www.simplebites.net/honey-sweetened-apricot-lavender-butter-recipe/ Recipe: Apricot Lavender Butter 3 cups chopped apricots (about 1 1/2 pounds whole fruit) 3/4 cup honey 2 teaspoons food grade lavender buds Combine chopped apricots and honey in a bowl. Stir well to combine. Tie the lavender buds up in a length of cheesecloth so that none can escape and tuck it into the apricots and honey. Cover and let sit at room temperature for one hour, so that the lavender flavor can begin to infuse into the fruit. When the time is up, taste the uncooked mixture. If you like the current level of lavender infusion, remove the packet and discard. If you want a bit more lavender flavor leave the packet in for the first 10-15 minutes of cooking. Prior to cooking, prepare a small boiling water bath and three half pint jars. Place lids in a small pot of water and bring to the barest simmer. Pour the fruit, honey and lavender packet into a wide, non-reactive pot. Place over high heat and cook at a boil, stirring regularly, for 15-20 minutes. As it cooks, check the consistency regularly by sweeping your spoon through the butter and then holding it sideways over the pot. Watch how it drops off the spoon. If it looks runny, it isn’t done yet. If it looks thick and nearly spreadable, remove the pot from the...