Friday, October 8, 2010

Tomato Harvest and Crockpot Cooking

I bet you are getting tired of me talking about tomatoes! LOL.. but probably not as tired as I am getting from dealing with them!! Haa..haa.. actually it has been a great blessing.. to think I was worried I would not get any tomatoes! Yesterday Isaac and I picked another 32 lbs of tomatoes!

Whew.. I do think this will be the last significant picking. I have been weighing the tomatoes when I bring them from the garden and so far we have harvested about 160lbs! Out of the last batch (60lbs) I made and canned 15 quarts of spaghetti sauce and 31 pints of salsa. My canning cupboard is definitely filling up. My plan at this point is tomato sauce.. I will smoosh them up in my Victorio strainer and cook and can the sauce..

Along with the tomatoes we harvested all my pumpkins. You can see them in my new blog pic above. I got a few questions on how to process and can pumpkin. Just to clarify, I freeze my pumpkin puree and I can pumpkin in chunks.. you can’t safely can pumpkin puree. In any case, I will be posting all about that very soon.

Now the only veggie left in my garden besides a few tomatoes are my cabbages. Next week I am hoping it will be dry enough to get some work done in there. It is time to pull up plants, rototill and prepare to put the garden to bed for the winter.

I still want to do a little more canning. I love canning my own soups and such. It is so nice to have my own convenience foods on the shelf. This weekend I will be making a batch of beef stock and then plan to make this into beef and bean soup to can. I also would love to get some chili canned as well. We will see how long my canning endurance lasts! LOL..

Getting Ready for Fall Baking
Now is the time to clean out some of my cupboards in preparation for fall baking. I have a cupboard above where my Bosh sits and I keep my measuring spoons and essential baking supplies like salt, baking soda, baking powder and some spices. I also store my glass measuring cups there. Right now it looks like a disaster. So, my plan is to pull everything down, wash out the cupboards, reorganize and set myself up for not only fall baking but the holiday baking season as well.

Crockpot Cooking
When I made out my menu this week I included a few crockpot meals. My crockpot cooking comes in phases. I get really into it and then I don’t. But with canning and homeschooling and keeping up on the house, it is so nice to have dinner going in the morning and not really have to think about it until dinner time. So I guess I am going into my latest “crockpot phase”. :)

Yesterday’s crockpot meal was the recipe I have for pork roast w/sauerkraut http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/porkroasatsauerkraut.htm . I did not have a pork roast so I used pork chops. I also cut up some little red potatoes and put that on the bottom of the crockpot first, then I layered the pork chops, sauerkraut, onions and apple. I added some salt and pepper between the rows too. It was yummy! :)

Today I already have my chicken and gravy in the crockpot http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/chickenbreastscrockpot.htm . I doubled the amount of gravy and used 4 cups of chicken broth from the freezer in place of the water and broth powder called for. I also have a bag of cooked rice defrosting and plan to sauté up some onion, celery and red peppers and add the rice after the veggies are soft and heat it all up. I will serve a big green salad with this.

On Saturday the plan on my menu is to make a big batch of meatballs http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/bbqcrockpotmeatballs.htm putting half of them in the freezer. With the over half I will cover them with homemade bbq sauce http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/texasbbqsauce.htm  heat it up in the crockpot. I also plan on a batch of mac & cheese in my smaller crockpot http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/crockpotmacandcheese.htm .

Maybe by Sunday I will have enough leftovers to serve! :) If not, then it will be a pot of soup.. Next week I will see what other crockpot inspirations I come up with for the family!

That’s all from the homestead.. I plan to be back soon and chat some more about organizing the kitchen for holiday baking..

7 comments:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your canning and meals and such! I have a baking cupboard too, and it sorely needs cleaning and re-organizing. So maybe you have inspired me to tackle that soon. :) Enjoy these beautiful fall days!

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  2. Everything sounds soo good! I heart my crock pot very much!!!

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  3. Thanks for all the crockpot recipes! I'm always trying to figure out what to make in mine, so this is just great!

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  4. Are you harvesting Roma tomatoes? We made a mistake and planted only Early Birds and another brand that I can't remember. They make great salsa and tomato sauce but the salsa did not hold up well when we canned it. I'm thinking we should have planted Romas?

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  5. Yes, the majority of all my tomato plants were roma tomatoes.. they do the best for salsa and spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce.. they are not as watery as other varieties.

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  6. Thank you so much for posting your recipes. I love your blog!! I've been making your whole wheat bread for a couple of weeks now and my family loves it. My previous recipe would be so crumbly on the top after the first day. Yours holds together and slices SOOOO nicely! Even freezes so well! I know everyone likes e-books now, but I wish you would compile a "REAL" cookbook! You are really a pro in the kitchen! Thanks for the inspiration!!

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  7. Hi June.. thank you for such a nice complement.. One of my all time dreams is to put together a real in print cookbook! :) Someday! :)

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