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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

spaghetti sauce and zucchini day

We have never been successful growing our own tomatoes from seeds. We try every year, and every year a few will sprout and then die. So every year we must buy seedlings. This year my husband was in the locally owned hardware store, a locally owned nursery was selling some of their plants in the parking lot. My husband saw "FLAT SALE" and bought several flats of tomato and peppers.

On close inspection we found that the plants were showing the beginning signs of becoming root bound. Hence the sale. But we decided to make do, and now we are worried. I just now got enough tomatoes in to can 5 quarts of spaghetti sauce. We had really hoped by tripling our plants we could have enough tomato products to last until next harvest. I am probably the only one here that wishes for this, but I wish for an Indian summer.

We have always been successful at harvesting tomatoes. This year I am at the point that I want to cheat and by some miracle gro to help them out. If something doesn't change soon, we are going to have to prepare to grow one tomato plant in our hydroponics closet and leave another veggie out.

Even our peppers are having a hard time. Unless someone came along one night and dumped chemicals on our soil, the plants being root bound is the only explanation I have. here's where I sigh

I digress, I made spaghetti sauce yesterday.

The recipe I was going to follow called for 6 lbs of tomatoes, and only 5 pints of pureed. Sorry, but 6 lbs of tomatoes make more than 5 pints of puree, so I used another recipe, one that I had fixed what problems there were in the past.

I washed my tomatoes, scalded them in hot water for 3 minutes. Shocked them in cold water to stop the cooking processThis colander has seen better days.

and then cored and peeled them.
I would like to state that after 6 lbs of tomatoes, that my back was killing me. Also, make sure you have no little scratches on your fingers. The acid from the tomatoes burns!

After all the fruit was cored and peeled, I put them through my food processor and pureed them. I put my quart jars hot water to sterilize. and cooked up my spaghetti recipe. Once that was done a managed to ladle the sauce into the jars without burning myself. TRIUMPH!All the while I had my hot water bath simmering. Using the rack I submerged the jars, turned the heat up and waited 4 hours for the water to rapidly boil. Somehow/reason I never got enough heat to get the water to boil. This is a first for me. I have always managed to use a hot water bath successfully. But alas! I have a tendency to "blow it"

I removed the jars from the hot water bath and put them in the pressure canner. 5 lbs for 25 minutes. Apparently when I learn a new skill I lose the old one.

I also had 6 lbs of shredded zucchini to deal with. Using my zucchini nut muffin recipe, I made one big loaf and several {and I do mean several} muffins.We are eating the loaf and I froze the muffins for winter. I still have more zucchini to do something with. Any suggestions?

KF_in_Georgia informed me that you can use corn starch to clot up a bleeding bird toe. My question is; would that work on a bird that scratches? Or do I need to hold the rooster down for a while?


alrescate said...

All this muffin talk is making me hungry. *grin*

You can also stop a bleeding toenail with powdered alum. (It also works on shaving cuts.)

KF-in-Georgia said...

Alrescate is right. But yeah, one way or another, you're going to have to hold the powder on the toe for a bit to make the blood clot. I think the directions for KwikStop say 20 seconds...You'll have to wing it (oops!) with corn starch...although it might work even faster than the KwikStop.

KF-in-Georgia said...

By the way, KwikStop comes in a powder, a gel, or liquid-on-pads:

Hope that works. If not, here's a long version:

Lynn said...

Hon, you need a Squeezo--you put the cooked tomatoes through it and it takes care of the seeds, cores and skins. Good for applesauce, too--takes out the cores, skins and seeds.

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