Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apples and Tomatoes!

Everything these days seems to revolve around Apples or Tomatoes. I do have more grapes to pick but I never seem to get around to it. My apple tree is still loaded - I haven't even begun to make a dent in the apples!

This week I have been running the dehydrator 24/7 and have many jars of dried apple slices to show for it. I never make enough of these - we all like to snack on them.

Today I am cooking down tomato sauce. It is satisfying to open a jar of tomato sauce in the winter and know where it came from.

Your turn, what is keeping you busy in your garden this fall?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

There are always fresh raw veggies on my dinner table

We love fresh veggies at our house. I always serve one cooked veggie (tonight is green beans just picked an hour ago) and a plate of fresh raw veggies. I just love this time of year when everything is fresh. The cucumbers and broccoli on the plate were just picked this afternoon. The mini bell peppers and radish are from my CSA and the carrots are organic but from the grocery store.

In the winter my veggie plates are made up of root veggies - carrots, beauty heart radishes, celeriac and whatever else is available without coming from the other side of the globe.

A bonus for my family since we are gluten free is that all veggies are naturally gluten free!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A very fruitful weekend!

Look how loaded my apple tree is!

A bucket of apples freshly picked - does anyone know what variety they are? They are definitely a pie apple. These apples have not been sprayed - even with anything natural - if you maintain a healthy tree and environment around your tree, your apples will be fine. There is no need to put nasty chemical on your fruit.

A bowl full of apple slices ready to be made into apple pie filling

What I canned this weekend - 6 quarts and 1 pint of diced tomatoes, 7 quarts of apple pie filling and 1 quart of dehydrated apple slices.

My apple tree!

My son is already bugging me to let him open one of the jars of apple pie filling - he likes to just eat it right out of the jar and not wait for pie! My husband is already hoping for spaghetti from the canned tomatoes. I told both of them that for the amount of work that went into canning them, I just want them to sit on the shelf awhile so I can admire them - not see them gone in 30 seconds!

Friday, September 09, 2011

This weekend's goals

I love this time of the year but at the same time there never seems to be enough time to get everything done. I find I do better if I set goals for myself.

This weekend - canning apples and tomatoes.

The apple tree is LOADED! And I mean LOADED! Did I mention that my tree has a ton of apples this year? My son's favorite is my apple pie filling so I will do some of that - I still have applesauce from last year so maybe not so much of that. I will probably throw some on the dehydrator as well. I've made a couple of pies, but this time of year you really can't make too many apple pies. If I had a press I would make juice.

I also have more tomatoes ready to can. Last week I did sauce so this week I am going to can diced tomatoes.

It will be another busy weekend - I'll be sure to post the results.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The results of my weekend of canning

It was a busy weekend, but when you can look at your harvest and see what you did, it makes it all worth it.

The end results of my weekend's canning efforts are:
4 quarts of tomato sauce
7 quarts of dill pickle spears canned plus 1 quart of refrigerator dills (they are so much crunchier in the fridge and not canned, but I don't have the room for more than a quart or two here and there).
7 pints of relish
10 pints of french green beans (plus 1 pint that didn't seal that we already ate for dinner).
10 jars of grape jam

I didn't get to the apples yet and I have grape pulp that I need to freeze, but I think I did pretty good.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Pictures from my harvest kitchen!

It is going to be a busy weekend in my harvest kitchen. The day has just begun and I already have many things in progress. It is appropriate to call this weekend Labor Day because it will all be about labor for me!

A pot of tomato sauce is cooking down to the right consistency for canning. I picked the tomatoes from the garden yesterday and started processing them right away - the sauce wasn't thick enough when I went to bed last night so I put it in the fridge overnight and put it back on this morning. It just doesn't get much fresher than this!

Ingredients all cut up for a batch of relish. I ran out of relish and had to buy some this past year so I will probably be making two batches this year (or giving less away). The store bought just isn't as good as mine.

Fruit ice cubes. This is just pureed fruit frozen in ice cube trays. I process it and sweeten it to taste before making the cubes. I store the cubes in freezer bags in the freezer. I mostly use them to make smoothies. These are from the last of my currants. I plan on making some from raspberries and grapes this weekend. I love a mixed fruit smoothie with a little soy yogurt added in.