Archive for August, 2011


Last week when we arrived at the farm to pick up our CSA share, just after experiencing our first earthquake, our farmer asked me if I wanted more tomatoes. I said I did but not that day. I could immediately tell by the look on her face that she had already set some aside for me so I quickly added unless you have some ready. Of course they did.

I had hit the wall when it came to tomato canning and needed a break but our farmer told me that she thought it was the last really good tomato week so I took them anyway. And they sat in my kitchen, and they started to ooze, and then they started to smell. Sunday I was going to deal with them but it was the urchins’ last day of summer before school so we played outside instead. Monday morning though I went through those tomatoes, pitched a whole bunch, and cut up the good ones for salsa.

DATE: 08/29/2011
FRUIT: celebrity tomatoes, italian hot peppers, and jalapeño peppers
SOURCE: CSA farm and the garden
RECIPE: from a friend
YIELD: 8 pints


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Barbecue Sauce

BBQ Sauce

DATE: 08/24/2011
FRUIT: tomatoes, apples, onions
SOURCE: CSA farm and the farmer’s market
YIELD: 18 pints
NOTES: I probably should have let it reduce a bit more. I also added half a jar of tabasco sauce this year to give it a little more kick.


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Raspberry Jam

You know the cliche about sending your husband to the grocery store, he never comes home with what you wanted. Well yesterday I sent Papa to the farmer’s market without me in hopes of getting some raspberries. I had a commitment and raspberry season is waning. We usually pick our own raspberries from a local winery but they were having a bad raspberry season and didn’t have enough to share. All these things were making me a bit jittery about the raspberry and razzlebarry jams — probably the two most-loved jams we make — so I sent Papa and the urchins to the market with instructions of getting two flats of raspberries if they could and a half-flat of blackberries.

I should mention here that Papa is, in general, a very capable shopper and he certainly knows his way around a farmer’s market. I can trust him to know the difference between a butternut and spaghetti squash or a pickling and slicing cucumber. However, as you know, this little story is leading to a moment and that moment has something to do with volume. You see, at the slightly further away but larger market the raspberries are sold in half-pints — and when we pick we pick half-pints as well — so I was expecting two flats of half-pints for a total of 12 pints of raspberries. Instead, what I found on the counter when I got home was two flats of pints for a total of 24 pints of raspberries. And the craziest thing is he got all those raspberries for less than what we normally pay for half the amount!

Needless to say we made a lot of jam.

Raspberry and Razzleberry Jam

DATE: 08/21/2011
FRUIT: 18 pints raspberries, picked over
SOURCE: farmer’s market
RECIPE: from the pectin box
YIELD: 36 half-pints

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Basic Tomato Sauce – Batch 2

More basic tomato sauce….

Tomatoes for Sauce

DATE: 08/17/2009
FRUIT: a little more than a bushel of celebrity tomatoes
RECIPE: Family Secret Tomato Sauce from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
YIELD: 14 almost-quarts

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Peach-Vanilla Jam

For the last few years I’ve made peach jelly from peach syrup left after canning peach slices. It’s alright but we always end up with a bunch left because it’s not great. This year I decided to just make some peach jam. And I added some vanilla, just for the fun of it.


DATE: 08/12/2011
FRUIT: about 6 pounds peaches
SOURCE: farmer’s market
RECIPE: on the pectin box with the addition of the seeds from three vanilla beans
YIELD: 13 half-pints
NOTES: I also let the vanilla pods cook in the jam. I removed them before processing.

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Cocktail Sauce

On Tuesday I got bushel of tomatoes from our CSA farm to make pasta sauce. On Wednesday I made the pasta sauce and then wondered what I was going to do with the small amount of tomatoes left from the bushel. I had planned to make ketchup but it turns out there weren’t enough tomatoes for that, so….I thought for a while. Then I remembered that I saw a recipe for cocktail sauce in my newly acquired Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving — which I got from Costco last time we were there — and checked and sure enough it only uses 2 quarts of pureed tomatoes.

Friday morning Stefan picked up some horseradish for me and I pureed the remaining tomatoes to get, one-and-a-half quarts of puree. So, every tomato, big or small, that I had available went into the food processor. We’re talking cherries, grape, sungold, and red — just enough to get to 2 quarts of puree.

Cocktail Sauce

DATE: 08/12/2011
FRUIT: 2 quarts tomato puree
SOURCE: CSA farm and garden
RECIPE: cocktail sauce from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
YIELD: 10 half-pints and one that didn't seal so went into the fridge
NOTES: I grated the horseradish in the food processor and ended up with long strings of horseradish. I let these cook a little bit and then pureed the whole thing with the immersion blender. This seemed to give it the perfect consistency.

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Peach Butter

This peach butter was made the same-old-same-old way using Marisa‘s recipe and my parents’ old slow cooker. I ended up with 8 jars, peach always seems to make more.

Peach Butter

DATE: 08/12/2011
FRUIT: 8 cups pureed peaches
SOURCE: farmer’s market
RECIPE: Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter from Marisa at Food in Jars substituting peaches for the blueberries
YIELD: 8 half-pints

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