Thursday, July 28, 2011


What can one say?  Tomatoes.  We LOVE them!  And here in Upstate NY, tomatoes are a wonderful provision.  They grow well (most of the time) and abundantly.  And they're so versatile.  So this is the first Haney tomato installment.  Tonight, we're simply cutting them up, seasoning them, and simmering them down.  Then we'll put them up in a boiling water bath.  Tomatoes, being an acid food product, do not need a pressure can bath. 

Big Steve picked a whole bucket of tomatoes.  By the way, that's a food grade bucket we scored for free (with the lid) from Hannaford (baking department).  It was formerly full of icing for those delightfully decorated cakes. 

By fall, it will be full of bulk purchased Ezekial mix grain, to be soaked and then baked into life-supporting bread.  I'm not big on the benefits of commercial bread, but soaked grain bread, well, please stay tuned this fall for recipes.

At any rate, Pearl is growing and learning, and true German Shepherd style, she is QUICKLY becoming an awesome watch/guard dog.  And she is so very, very intelligent that she does not mind following the lead of the humans as to level of aggression (which in her case is very delightfully evident).  She has an awesome ally in Elsa, who is definitely an alpha, but at the same time is a really good girl in her life with the humans.  Elsa is growing out of her fears, thanks to Tuffy and Pearl, and Tuffy is just plain hanging on.  He's such a good dog, and the Lord is calling him, but he's not quite ready.  So we keep him as comfortable as possible.  Just a pack update - we can't help ourselves.

Ok, I am not sure, and I'm not trying to be flippant, but a red velvet Queen Anne chair pulled up next to Mommy while she's blogging is not the worst situation which could befall a very aged dog....

So here we go with the tomatoes.  Just cut 'em up and dump 'em into a heavy bottomed pan.  Add your seasonings.  We like garlic, basil, parsley for a base.

Cook 'em down (whatever you got tonight) and then pack that nice boiling tomato stuff into sterilized jars, and nice clean lids and rings in boiling water, and water bath them for at least 15 minutes.  They'll seal down nice and tight, and last you the whole year.  And every time you take down one of those quarts (32 oz. is 1.5 times the size of a large jar of commercial tomatoes) you'll smile to yourself.  Because for mere pennies, you provided your household with about $3 worth of organically grown canned tomato product.  Why on earth don't we do MORE for ourselves, every day of our lives?  Why don't we understand how much we can do for ourselves? 

Now, Big Steve and I live right in the city, and we have a small lot.  We're what you'd call "Urban Homesteaders", so it's not like we're out on green acres or anything.  If you need help/support doing for yourself, don't be shy to comment and/or to ask.

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