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August 22, 2010

BUSY BUSY WEEKEND!

Of all times for my Foley Food Mill to be misplaced this wasn't the weekend to have that happen! Not after picking a bushel of fresh tomatoes from the garden! Pete checked all over for it too and then we decided it was important enough to replace it! I called 4 stores before I found one and THEY HAD TWO SIZES IN STOCK!! I'm thrilled! I didn't know they had different sizes so naturally, I ask them to hold the larger one!
 
What is so special about a FOLEY Food Mill? Well, I've only ever used a Foley, so I can't speak of any other brand! This brand has been around forever! At least long enough that I've had one since I've been married (27 years) and my mother in law's is older then that!! They work very well!!
Now I can start my weekend projects! PhEw, that was close....
It is Saturday and my project for the day is to turn a bushel of tomatoes into sauce! Lots of fun! First I diced up 1/2 a large Vidalia onion per large stock pot and added 2 teaspoons of diced garlic and sauteed them in a little bit of olive oil until the onions were transparent. After the onions were done I filled the pot with quartered fresh tomatoes and stirred them and let them start to simmer.
You can see that the tomatoes and onions are well softened... now it is time to put them through the mill. Sad news, I totally spaced out taking pictures of that in use! RRRGGH... well, the way to use it is to put the mill over another large pan or bowl and put the tomatoes in the mill. Turn the crank and the juices go through and the skins and onions stay in the mill pan to be dumped out. This process allows the sauce to be seedless & skinless. It is also a perfect tool to use when making applesauce! (That isn't too far off either!)
Now the sauce is ready to be reduced by simmering in the stock pots... I added some fresh basil and let it simmer down to about half of its volume. I poured it into pint jars, put the lids on and boiled them in the water bath for 35 minutes!! I ended up with 12 pints of tomato sauce to be used in lots of yummy ways this winter! The cutting up & cooking down took most of Saturday.. I wasn't pushed for time, so I enjoyed the process and didn't hurry! Now, on to my next project!
Sunday is corn day!  Pete and I got right down to business as soon as we got home from church. He & Travis  picked LOTS of corn and shucked it all outside. Inside, I got the canners ready, started heating the water in both of them as well as sterilizing jars & lids,
getting the cutting boards etc. all set up!
They were FAST!! They lost count of the number of ears of corn, but it was over 200 of them!
We cold packed them...  raw corn on the cob being cut off, filled quart jars, added 1 teaspoon of canning salt and filled them with boiling water. THEN, they were put into the canners....
 7 quarts to a batch in each of the canners.
Like I said, LOTS of corn!! The pigs will be getting the cobs and the husks!
One canner.... already filled, now to heat it up to 10 pounds of pressure for 1 hour and 25 minutes!
The first batch is finished....  two more to go!
In all, we got 21 quarts of corn finished!!
We are a little over half way through the corn in the garden!

Now on to dinner!
Hard telling how many mouths will be home for dinner now a day! I started out making
 pizza thinking that 4 out of 6 would be home... but, we ended up with just 3 of us.
I got to thinking, why make up 3 large pizzas and have all the left overs? Why not freeze the
extra dough? Hmmm, why not freeze the extra sauce and cheese etc.
So, this is my answer to extra pizza dough!
Now, some night when there is only 2 of us home... dinner will be SUPER EASY to prepare!
                                     All in separate bags... and then in the freezer in one bag!
                         Did I mention this pizza dough recipe is one that my mom got off the
                           back of a Gold Medal flour bag when I was a kid?! Yup, she still has
                           it.... and naturally, like any good daughter would do, I copied it
                          and have been using it for years!! It is truly the best recipe I've found!


                                                              Tomorrow's project??
Cucumbers!!
Dill pickles,
Sweet Lime Pickles, 
Bread & Butter pickles....
and maybe some relish!

Not to worry...
this IS a more then one day project!

6 comments:

Bluebonnetgirl said...

Melanie, thanks for that informative post to your blog! Tom and I are new at canning, and we tried our hand at making peach preserves yesterday. We are still experimenting, and I'm sure we're doing some things the hard way, or possibly even the wrong way. But we are enthusiastic and energetic about our experiments. Your blog was very helpful. I like the idea of the food mill, too.

Melanie said...

Glad to help out!! :) I really enjoy canning... jellies, pickles and preserves are the very thing I made when I was starting out too! I've made my share of mistakes and have had to dump some things out ... but, all in all, if you have some good tried & true recipes, you shouldn't go wrong!(Personally, I really like the Ball Blue Book. LOTS of recipes & information to keep you going for a long time!) Have fun learning & spending time with Tom while doing it!! Pete and I have fun doing this stuff together too! (AND, definately, find yourself a food mill! You won't be sorry!)

Melanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mad4books said...

You are my hero! I admire your hard work and ingenuity.

(Seriously! Even though I'm terrified of canned food!)

hippieingeeksclothing said...

This looks almost like the post I have in my head (and my camera) at the moment! I guess it's just that time of year. I love my Foley Food mill too. Canning is one of my new favorite hobbies and a foodmill is an indispensible tool for smooth goods.
Thanks for stopping by my blog!

michelle5959 said...

Mel you make canning tomatoe sauce look so easy!! I wish I would have known this years ago when I wanted to make my own... It all looks so YUMMMY!