Canning

Homemade Pasta Sauce

pasta Sauce

 

Early fall is always a busy time for the home gardener, harvesting the last of summer’s bounty and preserving it for the coming winter months. Even if you don’t garden yourself farmer’s markets and roadside stands have an abundance of the end of season vegetables, among these are those wonderful vine ripened tomatoes. They are perfect for making into an abundance of sauces for winter.

We especially enjoy home canned pasta sauce. Here is our tried and true recipe for a thick and tasty sauce. You can add ground beef or turkey when you open the jar or customize to your family’s taste. I usually add a pound of ground beef, venison or turkey whichever I have on hand when I am making spaghetti.
Homemade Canned Pasta Sauce
Prep Time:   1 hr

Cook Time:   1 hr

Total Time:   2hr Processing
Pressure canner: 25min
Water Bath: 45 min

141/2 lbs. of tomatoes (I like to use a very meaty paste or Roma variety of tomato)
4 large onions chopped (yellow or white onions will do)
5 bell peppers chopped (I use yellow, red and green peppers)
1 stalk celery chopped
2 hot peppers chopped
4 cloves of garlic

1 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp.parsley flakes
1-12 oz can of tomato paste
3 Tbsp. salt
1 ½ c. sugar
2 tbsp. Oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp marjoram
1) Fill a large a pot or Dutch oven with water, bring to a low boil, with a slotted spoon or wire basket drop washed tomatoes in hot water for about 60 seconds (don’t leave them to long or they will get mushy) when you can see the skin start to crack open they are ready to remove from water.
2) Have a sink or large bowl of ice water ready to plunge the tomatoes into. The skin will easily slip off at this point. Quarter your tomatoes.
3) Place tomatoes in a large pot and begin cooking on a medium low temperature.
4) Chop peppers, onions, celery and mince garlic
5) Add some olive oil to the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven and lightly sauté the chopped vegetables.
6) Use some of the tomato juice out of you tomatoes add it to your vegetables, cook onions, peppers, celery, and garlic until soft. Put the cooked vegetables into a blender and blend lightly.
7) Add vegetables to the tomatoes and then add all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to keep the mixture at a simmer for thirty minutes. You may cook longer if it is not as thick as you would like.
8) Pour into sterile jars and process I use a pressure canner and process according to the Ball book directions adding 5 minutes for a higher altitude of 3000 ft elevation.
If you wish to water bath your sauce add 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice to each quart jar to bring up the acidity level.
Yield: 7 Quarts

If you are unfamiliar with canning practices make yourself familiar with the Ball Blue Book read and follow all safety precautions. Many Farm Extension agencies offer free canning classes and are a great resource for food preservation practices.

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Ten Things I Plant Every Year

 

Spring is a time of renewal and all things seem new and fresh, but after 40+ years of gardening, I have a few tried and true things I simply must plant every year. Mostly because I can or freeze them to prepare meals year-round and they are superior to anything I can buy in the grocery store.
1. Tomatoes: Absolutely! an assortment I love the heirloom varieties pink and red Brandywine being my personal favorite however, I grow a wide variety of red, yellow and green heirlooms all yummy in salads. For canning and freezing into sauces I prefer the paste tomatoes. For snacking the tommy toe and pear varieties.
2. Beans: Green bush beans for eating all through the summer months (they are so easy to freeze). Pole beans that grow tall and must be staked for fresh eating and canning. Scarlett runner beans for the beautiful flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies and are delicious as canned beans.
3. Cayenne Peppers: For use in soups and pasta dishes. For use dried and ground in sore muscle salves and I just love how beautiful they are dried and strung.
4. Sweet Corn: Love it roasted on the grill. Corn is so easy to freeze I grow two varieties an early corn and a later variety to enjoy all season.
5. Summer Squash: I always have crook neck yellow squash and patty pan whites. They freeze or can for stews or pickles.
6. Winter Squash: My favorites are Bush Buttercup, Red kuri, sweet dumpling, hubbard and cushaw They all keep well in the root cellar and are delicious in soups, baked or in pies
7. Pumpkins: I love to grow pumpkins decorative and eating varieties. If I am short on space I have them climb a trellis.
8. Greens: Mustard, turnip, kale and spinach all are in my garden I keep cutting and harvesting all season.
9. Basil: I always grow the sweet and Genovese varieties for salads and pesto.
10. Sunflowers: They are easy and so happy in the garden. I dry the heads and feed the birds in winter.

 

 

 

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Every Horse Has A Story

Here is Molly’s story or at least what I know of her story . I don’t know why someone starved her, if it was an illness, job loss or just plain irresponsible behavior.  I am normally a frugal person. I make every effort to keep my farm sustainable on a limited income by keeping my herds of animals in check and not going crazy with too many (yes I have been known to have too many). BUT, I saw Molly on a Facebook page she was a slaughter bound horse. Her eyes spoke to me across the virtual miles and my heart yearned to bring her home it was an instant connection for me and her last chance before being shipped to Mexico for slaughter. So money earmarked for  home improvement projects was spent and Molly came home. She is beyond thin, sick with shipping fever and looks pitiful however, in the week she has been here I have seen progress she eats now with gusto and looks forward to our time together.  I just know that in that skinny beaten down horse is a wonderful mare with a strong spirit that will come out in due time. Her manners are fantastic she lays her head across me as if she is saying thank you. I hope you will join along with me and follow her progress. I will post new pictures along the way. I believe in second chances for people and horses. I am thankful for second chances I have had in my life. I am thankful for Gods grace and the blessing of the horses he puts in my path. I keep wondering about Molly’s story and her past life but more importantly I am looking toward her future and the new chapter we will write here on Sugar Creek.