tomatoes

All posts tagged tomatoes

Can it!

Published July 31, 2018 by lynn k scott

Several years ago, I reacquainted myself with the soon-to-be lost art of canning food.  While I am definitely no expert, I’ve managed to can all sorts of food.

I have been a bit lax on canning while I’ve been dealing with my health, the time for resuming preserving food is at hand.  Over the last few days, I have made and canned vegetable broth and tomatoes.

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The vegetable broth is really a piece of cake.  I take the veggies I have, whether from storing them in the freezer or from the fridge, cut them up, put them in the crockpot, add some filtered water and cook on low for 10 hours.  Remove the veggies, drain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and some cheese cloth and then canning commences.  If you’re into composting the cooked veggies can be composted.

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The tomatoes, on the other hand, are one of the most tedious items to can (imho).  Yet, there are so many options for canning them.  For this particular canning, I chose to use remove the tomato peel by blanching the tomatoes in boiling water.  Then the tomatoes go into ice water to stop the cooking process.

After removing the skin, I rough chop the tomatoes and place in a blender and pulse it a few times.  I complete several batches of this and all the tomatoes are placed in a pot and brought up to temperature so then can be ladled into hot jars and canned.

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I have a pressure canner, which I can double as a water-bath canner.  At one point, I had both, but it took up a lot of space.  I will note that certain foods (normally acidic, jams, jellies) use a water bath while other foods require the use of a pressure canner (stocks, vegetables, meat, soups).

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With my change in diet and for the health of my family, I will work at diligently canning more foods to have on hand.  I typically only can what we eat within a year (typical shelf life of home-canned goods).  It’s a great way to use seasonal fruits and vegetables, while they are affordable.  I love opening a can of tomatoes in November that I canned in the summer.  You can still smell the vine.

 

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Lentil Taco “Meat”

Published July 16, 2018 by lynn k scott

In an effort to stay on a (mostly) meat-free, cancer-fighting diet, I thought I would make some lentils in my Instant Pot.  I used this recipe as a guide, however, I halved the recipe because I was cooking just for me.

I did adjust the ingredients and used the following:

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • small red onion; diced
  • (2) cloves of garlic; minced
  • half a can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper

I did saute the onions in a bit of olive oil and added the garlic once the onions were just about done cooking.  Added the rest of the ingredients, gave it a stir and set the Instant Pot to 15 minutes.  Quick release when the time was up.

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The lentils were full of flavor.  Sadly, I was out of avocados and gluten-free tortillas, but I still plated and consumed them happily.  These definitely are a great substitution for meat.

I will note, the original recipe says it’s vegetarian, but that’s only if you use water and she uses chicken stock.  If you use water to cook the lentils, it actually becomes a great tasting, vegan dish.

Give it a try…I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

All Roads Lead to Roma…

Published July 17, 2015 by lynn k scott

Working in a farming community, I absolutely love that I can drive past any number of tomato fields and have my sense of smell bombarded with that “fresh off the vine” smell coming from the growing tomato plants.  I see the tomato trucks threatening to drop some of their precious cargo as it makes its way down the road.

I happen to work within minutes of my favorite produce stand.  Once I see the tomato trucks, I know I can start purchasing my cases of tomatoes; 20 pounds to be exact.  For the next couple of months, I will visit the produce market and pick up a case of tomatoes, every Friday afternoon.

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Every weekend, I will carve out some time to process and can my red bounty of Romas.  Once canned, they will line the top of my pantry.  Some jars will be made into marinara sauce, while others will simply be pureed and using in a multitude of culinary creations.

So what if my coworker calls me a freak (in jest, of course)?  Other coworkers will shake their head as I carry my case into my air conditioned office, waiting until the end of the day to be returned to the car so we can head home. They know how much I love being able to buy all these beauties at one time.  They just accept that canning is in my blood.

In my case, it’s safe to say…all roads to lead to Roma; tomatoes that is!

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