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Wouldn’t Want To

August 19, 2014

live without my foodmill or crockpots.

Tomato soup in the making

Tomato soup in the making

Just putting a batch of roasted tomatoes through the mill, into the crockpot for heating and then on to the pressure canner.  The dog days of August are so busy, its hard to describe, you spend hours a day cooking for meals you may eat in 6 months.  Lunch usually is pint of milk, a cucumber, and handfuls of blueberries as you walk by to the next task on the list.

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Vanilla marigold, formerly know as Sweet Cream.

Vanilla marigold, formerly know as Sweet Cream.

August truly is the golden month.

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2014 11:18 am

    your blueberries are magnificent! my bees are still not making honey, we have had so few sun days.. but your honey looks fantastic, that is honey right?.. c

    • August 19, 2014 11:26 am

      Our blueberries have been fantastic this year! That’s ghee actually. Don’t keep bees…too many bears 😦

      • August 19, 2014 11:30 am

        bears in the garden would be bad.. ghee.. that’s right – I remember now.. c

  2. Karen permalink
    August 19, 2014 12:17 pm

    Despite my best efforts, I’ve helplessly watched most of my blueberry bushes die slow deaths. Our soil just isn’t acidic enough. Envious of your beauties. Any tips?

    • August 19, 2014 12:30 pm

      Gosh, they about grow wild here since our soil is so acidic, sawdust mulch may help.

    • August 20, 2014 9:57 am

      We are learning all about it here too. We have put down layer after layer of composted oak sawdust. High acidity, apparently, is necessary to make iron available to the plant. We are getting there but the plants really aren’t thriving yet. The old timers had a couple of ideas to make it work in our chalk soil. First, they would dig a big trench and fill it with horse manure and sawdust. After at least a year they would plant each bush with a handful of rusty nails then mulch heavily. More organic material + time = more acidity.

      Really, though, we would be better off focusing our time on things that want to live here. Sigh.

    • August 20, 2014 10:45 am

      Pine tree or spruce tree needle mulch may help too. Just mulch up your Christmas tree and anyone elses 🙂

  3. May britt permalink
    August 19, 2014 2:25 pm

    I love your roasted tomato system for bases of salsa and soups . I am new to canning and love it, retirement agrees with the timing because I doubt I could have tried canning before this time in life. I need to ask you if roasting is a tested recipe? I am scared silly, like a newbie should be. Thank you for your wonderful posts, I look forward to them every day.

    • August 19, 2014 4:18 pm

      May, do you mean the salsa recipe? It is tested and came from our newspaper food section, and with the citric acid added in addition to the vinegar it is a good recipe for canning if you don’t change the ratio of acid foods and low-acid foods in the recipe. The roasting part for sauce isn’t much different than cooking the tomatoes down and then making sauce, it just changes the flavor profile with somewhat of a umami feel. You know if you’re the least bit touchy about a recipe you find online or in a book, you might want to just skip it. It’s not worth the worry. And freezing some things is always an option.

      Thanks so much for the kind words 🙂

      • May britt permalink
        August 20, 2014 7:27 pm

        I agree, better to relax and enjoy the food you laboured over in summer while watching the snow flying in winter. I have made your oven roasted sauce based on your descriptions. I have wonderful tomatoes I grew from seed ( my first year) and I have frozen two big batches already. It’s so delicious it’s shocking, thank goodness you taught me in time. Now the seasons will be so much more than they have been. One of many mistakes was not knowing what tomato to plant, I don’t think I can find the type you mentioned in your posts. I’m in zone 5b, any suggestions? Now that I have become a tomato devote.
        Say hi to Jane for me. I talk about her to my family. She is our virtual cow.

        • August 21, 2014 5:03 am

          May, I’ll tell Jane hi! Hopefully she’s a little more sane this am…she was in heat yesterday, and that’s when she turns into a Ninja cow! Exciting times at milking!

  4. August 20, 2014 6:10 am

    Beautiful marigolds! Look at those blueberries. <y husband won't touch a blueberry. Our plums. grapes and apples are loaded like that. The peaches and blackberries were a bust though for the year. A late frost did them in. Like you this time of year I am always knee deep in something that needs picking, shelling, peeling and canning.

  5. August 20, 2014 10:46 am

    Our blueberry bushes are only little, but I had some blueberries, raspberries and what blackberries the wasps have left me, on my porridge for breakfast this morning

    • Karen permalink
      August 20, 2014 1:28 pm

      Muffins… For me it’s all about the blueberry muffins. O.k., and smoothies with blueberries. Though I dread the high maintenance involved with container gardening, it may be the only way to grow them in my neck of the woods.

  6. Lauren permalink
    August 21, 2014 6:02 am

    Wowza…Miz Jane is one hot tamale to be coming into heat 16 days post partum!!!
    Curious to know the brand/model of your food mill.

    • August 21, 2014 6:47 am

      Yeah, she gave me the look yesterday morning and I discounted it, then when I went to work in the garden later she was right there wanting out and bugling like an elk. Mark the calendar, and we’ll be good to go next time and maybe I can gain a month.

      You know I spoke to soon, it gave up the ghost, so I ordered a Victorio like this:
      http://www.amazon.com/Victorio-VKP250-Strainer-Sauce-Maker/dp/B001I7FP54/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1408632294&sr=1-1

      I had a Villaware but I wore it out and finding the parts is not easy.

    • Lauren permalink
      August 23, 2014 7:12 am

      Another try for an AI Guernsey heifer? Geeesh, reading Amazon reviews is enough to make ya resort to the dark ages. Will be anxious to hear your appraisal of the new Victorio strainer. I’ve lusted for one for a long time but the negative comments regarding the newer version’s suspect durability is definitely alarming. Drat!

      • August 23, 2014 8:41 am

        Lauren, yes another try til I get one, it takes so long to raise a replacement and buying one, it’s like unicorn hunting…

        I went and read the bad reviews after your comment, and I think with reviews you need to take most things with a grain of salt. Sometimes you got to wonder about people, “plastic will melt if you put hot apples in there…” Really? Hot food? If it’s a shitty tool, I’ll find out soon enough, but after seeing people (“helping us”)break all kinds of tools from shovel handles to chainsaws because they just can’t keep from reefing on something, I think I’ll be okay with the 400 reviews that gave this tool 4 stars. My camera I use for the blog has some shitty reviews, and I think it’s done just fine over the years. The way I look at it was the one I have had and can’t get parts for now, originally cost $50 twenty years ago, so for $2.50 each year of use if it’s no longer good I can just walk away. Time will tell how this one turns out. I won’t be cramming fresh tomatoes or apples through it, only cooked and cooled tomatoes actually so I’m hoping it does the trick. A neighbor gave me an old one, but it was aluminum so I passed it on to someone who didn’t care about aluminum on her food. Ebay might be a good place to look for vintage.

  7. August 21, 2014 10:27 am

    Lol it would be the kind of gift I would get from my hubby too, in fact some of the attachments for my mixer were gifts from him. I have a steamer too and I steam the grapes without much prep beyond a bit of a wash, but when I tried to strain it – oh dear! Took a lot of work by hubby to prise the thing apart. We have our grape harvest in full swing here again, we are drying the nearly seedless ones but we have some dark purple grapes with a few pips in each and so I can’t dry them. Steaming works a treat to get some really nice juice but then there is still a vast amount of usable material for jam, if I could just separate those pips out. Using a sieve is no fun and too time consuming.

    • August 21, 2014 10:50 am

      Joanna, is it a three part steam juicer? There is nothing left once this one is done, seeds, skins and stems and hardly any pulp to speak of. The juice comes out so hot that if your lids and rings are ready you can just seal them then.

      • August 22, 2014 10:41 am

        Yes it is a three part steamer, but I wouldn’t say that there is hardly anything left. I get a load of juice off and like you say, if everything is ready I just seal them straight off. There are usually remains and I then put them through a strainer to make jam. Wonder if there is a difference, mine is probably a cheaper version.

        • August 22, 2014 11:44 am

          I usually have some residue but never enough to make any thing out of except maybe chicken food, and what’s left seems to be pretty tasteless. Maybe grapes are different, we hardly get enough grapes to make juice out of…:(

  8. August 21, 2014 10:32 am

    Husbands who understand the need for good kitchen tools are great; I have some excellent quality equipment, thanks to mine, and boy does it make the work easier.

  9. Bee permalink
    August 22, 2014 9:19 am

    Yes, the great thing about a pint of milk for lunch is you don’t have to wash it, peel it, cook it or plate it; just pour, drink and go. It’s also good for sippin’ as you work (if you put the house cats outside first!)

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