ThistleDew Farm

ThistleDew Farm
Established 2009

Monday, October 13, 2008

Shew, what a weekend~

I don't know why I have to pack so much in a weekend. I think it is to ensure that I enjoy work...if it weren't for work, I'd probably kill myself from exertion during the time I'm not at "work".

As I thought back over the weekend and what I would blog about it occurred to me that people are going to think I am some kind of Martha Stewart without the staff. The problem is my stuff doesn't always turn out - I'd like to see a reality show with Martha Stewart's failures and the patch jobs they have to do on stuff to make it look presentable.
On Saturday I went to Hobby Lobby to get items my daughter needed for her school Social Studies poster project - it's on the Assateague Ponies.

Upon returning home I came face to face with two bushels of tomatoes a friend gave me on Thursday. It was time to put them out of their misery!

Terri (my sidekick in crafting crime) from Clay Hill suggested we go to a U-Pick for some apples, we could put them up while doing the tomatoes. Great Idea!

I decided to make one box of tomatoes into salsa and the other into tomato sauce.
The salsa turned out pretty good. I made 6 pints of "cooked" salsa and 3 pints of pico gallo (fresh salsa). I vaguely followed the Kerr Canning book recipe adding some additional spices. When I first tried this recipe in the summer I didn't like the cider vinegar taste, it confused my taste buds. But when I tried the salsa after about a month in the jars, I loved it. My daughter aka The Princess sat down and ate an entire jar! Did I mention she'd like to be a vegetarian - she's only 8!

Salsa Recipe (From the Kerr canning book)
10 cups peeled, cored, chopped red ripe tomatoes (a little over half the box)
5 cups seeded, chopped green peppers (I used 1 green Anaheim pepper and 1 red Anaheim)
5 cups chopped white onion
3 cups (adjust for desired heat) chopped fresh hot peppers (I omitted these because I'm a wimp)
1 & 1/4 cups cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced (I used one grocery store bunch)
2 teaspoons canning salt
1 bulb garlic – peeled (I omitted the garlic because I forgot it)

I added: 2 tablespoon garlic salt, 2 tablespoons ground cumin, 1 tablespoon Chili Powder, 1/2 bottle of Lizano taco seasoning (I love this brand, I brought back 5 bottles from Costa Rica last year!), one bottle of green taco sauce (like pureed green chile's).

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil (I sauteed the onions first again, 'cause I'm a wimp). Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes. Pour mixture into hot jars and process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.(Yields about 12 pints)

Notes: Roma tomatoes give the best flavor and will thicken quicker since they contain less water. Tomato paste can be used to thicken the salsa quicker; but I prefer not to use it. If cilantro is not available, I’ve substituted parsley with no adverse effects to taste. Wear gloves when handling hot peppers.

With the salsa on the stove we started on the apples. We peeled, cored and sliced them, dipped them in mildly salty water to prevent browning and put them in freezer bags. Terri put a batch in the crock pot with some brown sugar and cinnamon for desert topping. We also did about 2 gallons of cored and sliced for fresh eating out of the 'fridge. I have about 4 gallons in my freezer (two for pies and two for applesauce...I was to tired to make mine that evening so I'll see if I can make it later in the winter).

That rounded out Saturday.

On Sunday I woke early and decided it was time to hem the three pairs of jeans my daughter received for her birthday in August! Then I tackled a watercolor I needed to send to a friend who lost her two year old niece to a brain tumor.
This is my interpretation of the girls spiritual walk to heaven with the tree of life showing her the way. The short path on the right depicts the short time she had with us. I am a beginner in the watercolor's the thought that counts right?
After finishing up the watercolor it was back to the yak hat...

Here's what the yarn looks like - this is the start of the more traditional style of skull cap tightly crocheted.

Here's the hat I finished for my nephew, Terri's son. Notice the ear flaps, this was a request!

Yes that's my watering can and a bag of sugar acting as the model - we use what we have around ThistleDew Farm. After finishing up Sean's hat and starting the 2nd Yak Hat, I got an idea for a yarn rug hooked project. A pumpkin pillow!

I used burlap purchased on the afore mentioned trip to Hobby Lobby. I used an Ice Cream tub lid and traced the basic shape.

and then I free handed the pumpkin face.

This is as far as I got on this project because I can not find my yarn hook....the woes of living out of boxes!

I decided to go back to the tomatoes and cut up the remaining box. Being out of the salsa ingredients I put them in the crock pot to simmer down to sauce. I don't know if this will work - but it took about 90 minutes to cut them up. I cooked them down in three batches just coring and quartering them, each batch took about two hours to become squishy - then using a potato masher and a metal basket screen I mushed the guts out leaving the peels and seeds. Which I threw away outside only to have ReBox our Retriever Boxer mix find the leavings and feast on them..."please Lord don't let them make her sick!" (I often take time out to say these types of prayers...I'm not sure if they work but they remind me to seek guidance before I do something drastic.) The three batches seeded, peeled and cooked down into juice made one batch in the crock pot. I put this on to simmer until it thickens. We'll see what happens.

With the tomatoes on to simmer and it being about 4 pm, I proceeded to help Ashley, aka The Princess with her school poster project until dinner time. By then the tomato juice was still just that - juice so we made hamburger helper for dinner which was around 8pm. I had hoped for Lasagna....sigh.
As usual I flopped into bed with a sigh of exhaustion proud of my accomplishments but wondering what drives me to such extremes!


Terri said...

You want to know what drives to extremes? You're crazy! :) ("Crazy? I was crazy once...")

No, seriously, it's that you're awesome, naturally! I want to be you when I grow up! :)


Thistledew Farm said...

There is no hope for that - you will never grow up. I have noticed the strange similarity between you and Julie Andrews' Peter Pan character....I shall post a picture of you and one of JA as PP and we'll let the public be the judge.....