Tag Archives: recipes

Tomato juice…

16 Sep

This week we put up tomato juice to use making creamy tomato soup and to add to our spaghetti, chili, vegetable soup, etc..

We grow Roma tomatoes for their quality meaty fruit, this year my son planted 80 plants!  He has a dream to be an organic gardener.

We picked early in the morning..

Roma’s are an egg or oval shaped meaty tomato, we had some volunteer tomatoes come up this year also.

We wash and top the tomatoes, put them in a stainless steel stock pot with about 2 cups of water and cook on high until the skin splits.  Then we run them through the Victorio strainer, a wonderful tool!  The tomatoes go in the hopper and you turn the crank, there is an auger with a metal sieve/screen attached, the juice and beautiful pulp is strained  through the screen and the auger pushes the skin and seeds out the end.

We then pour the juice and pulp into a bigger bowl to mix together, because when pouring the tomatoes into the hopper the hot juice and water comes out first with out cranking and the pulp has to be cranked out.  So the first part is mostly liquid and mixing the pulp in gives even consistency.  Beautiful, fresh and RED isn’t it?

The skins and seeds aka compost 🙂

The yield…

After mixing the pulp and juice we pour hot into clean jars and process in water bath for 15 minutes.  It will be delightful to have hot tomato soup this winter!

Our recipe for tomato soup:  This yields approximately 6 cups of soup.  You can do ratio, 1 part milk to 2 parts juice for more or less soup, and adjust your spices accordingly…

1 quart tomato juice

2 cups milk

small clove garlic crushed

pinch of cayenne pepper

dash of salt

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon butter

2-3 tablespoons of flour

melt butter, mix in flour adding a little milk to make creamy

add remaining milk and heat through, then add tomato juice and spices, stir constantly to thicken, then simmer 30 minutes to blend flavors.  Remove bay leaf and serve hot!  Yummy!


3 Aug

This year we got 5 bushel of peaches from a farmer in our area.  He called Thursday evening and wanted us to pick them up.  He had traveled up from Virginia with them and was worried they would spoil from the heat.  It was hot last week!

My husband picked them up and the farmer told him you better put these up right away.  And that is what we did.  On Thursday night the girls and I put up 21 quarts, 16 of fruit cocktail and the rest peach halves.  Up on Friday and back at it we finished Friday night with 107 quarts of peach products!  That is the most we have ever done in one canning.  There was the fruit cocktail, peach halves, a couple peach chunks, peach pie filling, peach jam, and peach pineapple jam.

Whew!!  It was a long one!  But fun and rewarding!

Filling jars..

All hands on deck!!

Our friend told us about peeling the peaches and slow cooking the peels in a roaster or crock pot, for pressing later in a food mill to make jams.  It is a wonderful way to get the most out of your fruit!

Here is my little 5 year old pressing the cooked peach skins and pieces into pulp for the jam.  He was turning the thing so fast his little had is blurry in the picture!  He loves to help, especially if it is a cool tool he can use 🙂

The fruit of our labor… Only 1 in 107 jars didn’t seal.  We took care of that at our Sunday snack!

Today we have to finish up the jam.  We refrigerated a big bunch of pulp because we ran out of sugar.

Peach Pineapple jam

double recipe;

6 cups peach pulp

2 cups pineapple puree

1/2 cup lemon juice


Then we followed Pomona’s pectin double recipe instructions.  Pomona’s lets you decide the sugar ratio.  We used the lowest, haven’t tasted it yet, but last years was yummy.

Blueberry picking…

13 Jul

On Monday our friend Jill set up a blueberry field trip for school.  It was so nice.  The blueberry farm was just 5 minutes away and we started at 9:00.  Mr. Vence gave each child a green quart container and set it in a bucket and just let us loose to pick.  Last year we picked at an abandoned blueberry farm it was over grown and very hard picking.  Mr. Vence’s is kept up wonderfully!  He mows between his bushes and there is netting over all to keep the birds out.  I was picking barefoot!  Monday it got up to 91 degrees so, 9:00 a.m. and barefoot were great for me!

So, there were lots of pickers! And to be sure, lots of berries went into our mouths.  Mr. Vence also took the children around and talked about how he started, what he did to the soil to make it acidic enough for the berries, mulching etc.  It was educational and fun to get together with other home educating moms and families.  As a gift Mr. Vence gave each child the quart they picked!  That was more than generous! seeing some of the families had 5 and above children!    We also picked extra and went home and put them up for the winter.   We were able to put up 16 quarts of blueberry pie filling and 5 quarts of  jam.

Blueberries look so pretty in the jar!

I am enclosing the pie filling recipe for you.  Just a tip from our low sugar kitchen.  We decreased the sugar by 2 cups and the filling was very yummy last year.  I am writing the recipe for the amount of sugar it called for.

Blueberry pie filling:

6 quarts blueberries

6 cups sugar

2 1/4 cups Clear gel ( we get this at our bulk food store)

7 cups cold water

1/2 cup lemon juice

Wash and clean berries of stems and leaves.

Whisk clear gel  and sugar to blend.

Cook clear gel, sugar, and water on high, stirring constantly.  When it thickens and to  boil , add lemon juice and stir for 1 minute.

Put the hot gel into a very large bowl,  add berries and gently fold the two together trying to avoid breaking the berries.

Then you just put this mixture into your jars, we used a wooden spoon and just spooned it in, it is very sticky and isn’t a pouring consistency.  We leave a good 1″ head space put our lids on and water bath for 20 -25 minutes.  It almost always  oozes out some in the water bath.  But that is o.k. if your lid is sealed.

I am not sure if you can freeze this or not.  Does any body know?