March Challange Report -2nd

So the answer to am I going to go fix my mistake of not getting my last food buying is no, In the past if farm work, or weather meant that the you didn’t get to town, then they would not have been able to run to the store later in the middle of winter, so sadly, neither will I.

Doomer is joining in again this year, Check out her page and read about her first day and  her own personal rules for it.

Breakfast-French Cast Iron Baked No Kneed Bread 2 slices toasted, with 2 dippy pullet eggs, dried dill on top, fried in duck fat

Lunch-Homemade corn chili * See Recipe below with fresh sweet baking powder Biscuits

Supper- Baked Chicken legs in a spicy plum sauce,  homemade noodles with butter/galic/Chopped fresh onion greens.

Extras-Bread and Butter Pickles, Pickled Beets, Pickled Pumpkin, Coffee, Herb Tea, Water

Made today-Egg Noodles, Baking Powder Biscuits.

Sweet Mild Corn Chili Recipe

  • 1 pd of Ground lamb or any other ground red meat
  • 1 pint of home canned corn-Garden 2011
  • 1 quart of home canned tomato’s, onion, celery mix-Garden 2011
  • 1 pint of home canned Red Pepper Pasta Sauce -Garden 2011
  • 1 Pint of home canned pinto beans-Drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp of chili powder

Super easy to make, brown your meat, add the rest and heat though, serve and enjoy! – That’s what I call fast food!

Now on to the gardens, and as we were making chili, and one of the main things that makes a great chili, really good tomato’s..

Tomato’s, O my have you gotten some of the new catalogs, there are dozens upwards of hundreds now to pick from for the home gardener.. I tend to grow three main kinds in my own gardens, Cherry – for fresh eating and drying, Big beef stake type, -fresh eating, friend green tomato’s, green tomato jams, mock rasberry jams, Green Tomato stew and relish recipes. Roma or paste style -for canning and pasta making, limited drying.

On average for the two of us, we tend to plant about forty or so tomato plants, three to five cherry, a dozen of the big beef stack style and the rest into the paste tomato’s.

I have now for a number of years mulched my tomato plants, I start them off till at least four inches, then harden them off by the time they are six inches, for compost in the tomato area, I perfer to use a mix of year old sheep manure (about three inches or so in the spring mixed it) and a inch or two of mixed poultry manure (spread in the fall and left to settle and be mixed in during the spring when I do the rest), I tend to do a cool rabbit manure tea feed at least once in the late summer/early fall.

Once the soil has been feed, the plants go in, and the thick 6 inches layers of straw bedding goes down, I leave a small ring around the plants that do require weekly or bi-weekly weeding till they really get going, by the time they are a foot high, I need to get the cages around them, if you are using cages that have feet on them, put them at the same time as you plant out your six inch plants into the soil, but as most of mine don’t have feet anymore, this is no longer a issue.

My tomato plants are given dry land spacing, with means they get a min of 3 square feet per plant, and in the past couple years 4 sqaure feet of space, and boy do they need it, they have grown into a tomato jungle even with that spacing, pruning is required, pinch off the sucker branches.

I do water bath some basic tomato’s, with the use proper use of lemon juice, some of my tomato products are turning into sauces like BBQ etc  that have a high enough sugar/salt/vinager combo that they are also water bathed canned or they are pickled in the form of salsa with which has acid base allowing you to water bath can.. I would say that about 60 to 70% are done this way, the other 30 percent that are canned are pressure canned as a straight diced tomato or tomato/onion mix.

What is your favorite way to use them? Do you tend to go basic? Do you peel the skins? or do you use a machine that takes the seeds and skins off?

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2 Responses to March Challange Report -2nd

  1. Tomatoes? This year I’m going to take every single tomato L can give me, and I’m making as much roasted tomato sauce as I can manage. I might dry some more, too, but not too much. Whoever said that dried tomatoes only last a couple of months was delusional. Mine are holding up just fine.

  2. K.B. says:

    I cannot ever have too many tomaotes! I’m planning on at least 12 plants – 6 plums, 4 “eating” and 2 cherries, and knowing me, I’ll end up with more 🙂

    I can most of them as salsa, chili sauce (fantastic with scrambled eggs, or sausage and potatoes) or simply as “whole” or sauce. The whole ones get cored and peeled, heated up and mashed a bit, then water bath canned with added lemon juice. I have a food mill attachment for my KitchenAid, and use that to make sauce – makes it so easy to do a LOT in a short period of time. The sauce also gets water-bath canned with added lemon juice, but since I now have a pressure canner, I’ll probably use it this year.

    I’m also planning on drying some, as well as saving, drying and grinding the peels to make a tomato powder, which hopefully means I can stop buying tomato paste.

    And if I have enough (or can find some good tomatoes at the farmer’s market), then BBQ sauce and ketchup is on the agenda as well.

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