Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Smooth Fig Jam

Neil and I were out early this morning digging (with the post hole digger on the tractor) holes for new trees. We planted six tulip poplar trees that Neil had dug up from his parents place a few days ago. I have been keeping them in the greenhouse but they were beginning to wilt so needed to get in the ground. We planted them along the driveway to provide shade for the cars and eventually the house.

Food preserved today:
Low-sugar Smooth Fig Jam, water bath canned - 12 half-pints

I made.this particular recipe with the idea of using them later for homemade fig newton cookies. I used a combination of two recipes "Smooth Fig Jam" and "Low-Sugar Fig-Ginger Jam" both found in The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves by Linda Ziedrich.

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Today's food preservation:
Bread & Butter Pickles, cucumber - 4 quarts
Bread & Butter Pickles, summer squash - 2 quarts
Okra, pressure canned - 2 pints
Pickled Banana Peppers, water bath canned - 1 pint
Szechwan Green Bean Pickles - refrigerator - 1 quart
Pesto, freezer - two 1/3 pints

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Today's food preservation:
Green Beans, pressure canned - 3 quarts

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Today's food preservation:
Orka, pressure canned - 3 pints

Monday, August 01, 2011

Today's food preservation:
Tomato sauce, water bath canned - 4 pints

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Today's food preservation:
Tomato sauce, water bath canned - 3 pints
Mint Sauce, pressure canned - two 1/2 pints+

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Today's harvest:
From the farm sitting job:
Onions, bunching
tomatoes, cherry
Tomatoes, Roma
Green Beans

From our farm:
Green Pepper
Summer Squash and Zucchini

Today's food preservation:
Watermelon Rind pickles, water bath canned, 5 pints
Tomato Sauce, water bath canned - 3 pints
Dilly Beans, water bath canned - 2 pints
Beets, pickled, pressure canned - 1 quart
Green Peppers, dehydrated

Pickled Beets
Recipe by Alton Brown at the Food Network


  • Roasted Beets, recipe follows
  • 1 large red onion, frenched
  • 1 cup tarragon wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water


Remove the skin from the Roasted Beets and slice thinly. Arrange in 1-quart jars alternating layers with the onion. In a small pot boil the rest of the ingredients and pour over the beets. Tightly lid the jars and place in the refrigerator for 3 to 7 days before serving.

Roasted Beets:

  • 6 medium beets, cleaned with 1-inch stem remaining
  • 2 large shallots, peeled
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl toss all of the ingredients. Place into a foil pouch and roast in the oven for 40 minutes.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Canning continues... Okra Recipe

Potted up the grapes I got earlier this spring into larger pots today.  I also put another layer of mulch on top of the newly planted potatoes to help keep them moist.  It hit 103F here today!

Today's harvest from the farm sitting job:
green peppers,
green beans,
cherry tomatoes,
13#s roma tomatoes,
okra, lavender,

Today's food preservation:
Okra, pressure canned - 2 pints
Tomato Juice, WB canned - 4 pints
Green Peppers, dehydrated
Lavender, dried buds stripped and stored

Canned Okra Recipe:
Makes 6 pints.

6+ pounds Okra
3 teaspoons Pickling Salt

Wash pods and trim ends. Leave whole or cut into 1-inch pieces. Cover with hot water in a saucepan, boil 2 minutes and drain. Fill jars with hot okra and cooking liquid, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pint to each jar, if desired. Adjust lids and process for 25 minutes at 10# of pressure in a pressure canner.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chow Chow (Green Tomato Relish)

Green Tomato Relish:
AKA (Chow Chow)
12 large green Tomatoes (cored)
(I used about 20 small to med size)
4 - green bell peppers, seeded
4 - medium yellow onions (I used one very large one)
1 - red bell pepper, seeded
1 - tablespoon + 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seed
1 - tablespoon celery seed
2 - cups cider vinegar
2 - cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Chop the tomatoes and peppers very finely. Either by hand or in small batches in a food processor. I diced up all my veggies only because I like a chunkier relish. Put the chopped vegetables in a large pot (heavy bottom non reactive pot) add the mustard seed, celery seed, vinegar, kosher salt and sugar. Stir well and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook stirring often and skimming as needed. ( I did not have to skim off anything) Simmer until the relish/chow chow cooks down and thickens into a relish, about 2 hours. Turn into hot sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Green Tomato Salsa Verde

My father in law always plants a few tomato plants every year in his yard and this year was no different.  But this year he has been plagued with blossom end rot and has only been able to harvest a few ripe tomatoes from them.  He has left the tomatoes to ripen on the vine, fall to the ground and rot.  When I was there yesterday I asked if it was ok if I harvested the remaining green tomatoes on the vines to use.  McKayla and I picked 12 3/4 pounds of green tomatoes off of those two plants!
So now I just need to use them up... the first thing I am making is a green tomato salsa verda.  Salsa verde is a traditional Mexican sauce made with tomatillos.  Tomatillos, although resembling green tomatoes are actually related to cape gooseberries.  My 2009 "Ball Blue Book guide to preserving" has a recipe for Tomatillo Salsa which along with the recipe for Green Tomato Salsa Verde at ModernComfortFood is how I came up with the following recipe:
Mild Green Tomato Salsa Verde:
4 pounds green tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 cups yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 green jalapeƱo peppers, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoon honey or sugar
2/3 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  1. Combine the green tomatoes, onion, jalapeƱos, garlic, salt, cumin, olive oil, and water in a stock pot. Bring to a boil and cook covered on a medium-low heat burner for approximately 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes and onions are soft.
  2. Stir in and simmer for an additional five minutes the lime zest, lime juice, honey (or sugar), and cilantro. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
  3. Blend the mixture in the pot with a stick blender or spoon into the container of a food processor or blender and pulse until the salsa reaches the consistency you prefer, either chunky or a smooth puree.  Makes approximately two quarts of salsa.
  4. Ladle into sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Remove jars from the water and allow to cool on the counter.  Test tops for a good seal and refrigerate any that have not sealed properly and use within 2-3 weeks.
Other farm happenings today:
Our alpaca stud Novio bred our female Aberdeen this afternoon.  I will have to keep watch to see if she spits him off in the future.
Spotted a hummingbird in the marigolds in the greenhouse.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More new lambs

Our other ewe had two lambs sometime early this morning. They were both black like the last two lambs. By the time I discovered them they were already up and running around so I am not sure what sex they are.

Homemade Laundry Soap

I made up a batch of laundry soap this morning. It is a simple recipe:

4 cups Baking Soda
3 cups Borax
2 cups soap, grated (such as Castile or homemade soap)
1 tbsp essential oil of choice (lavender, citrus, vanilla, etc.)

Mix all ingredients together and store in an air tight container. To use, add 2 tbsp per normal sized laundry load.