"Bottling up both the sweet and tart of life's most precious moments. "



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spaghetti Sauce

Our tomato plants this year could best be described as monstrous and out of control! They literally have taken over 90% of our garden and if it weren’t for early harvests of our beets and carrots, I am sure they, too,  would have been choked out by our psycho tomato plants… just as our basil, spinach, cauliflower and peppers were.

My engineer of a husband has gone to extreme lengths to construct support for this BEAST we call a plant. Currently we have everything from tiki-torches, plastic lawn chairs and old gardening tools propping up branches and limbs.  ( I am blaming my mom’s “special” fertilizer for our plant explosion.Winking smile You can ask me what it is… )

Anyways this past week we have been picking tomatoes like they are going out of style and just trying to beat the birds and critters that would rather get to their deliciousness first. But even after giving bundles to family and neighbors we have had endless amounts of these red fruits. (Roma and Early Girl… in case you were wondering) And while I love me a good tomato, there is only so much salad this pregnant girl can consume.

 

So here I am with somewhere between 8-10 POUNDS of tomatoes… what to do…. what to do….

Well,thanks to the one patch of garden my tomato plant did not overtake, I have parsley…

And thanks to my 99cents only store I have 2 huge basil plants….

so….

with a little help from GOOGLE…

I got this recipe

Fresh Spaghetti Sauce

And went to town…

Tomatoes washed…

Containers Sterilized…

I have HIGH hopes! I see a freezer full of Spaghetti Sauciness. Winking smile

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Ingredients ready…

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Scoring, Boiling, Shocking and Pealing of tomatoes….

the pealing was actually kind of fun… took me an hour… but was a calming process.

Bekah wanted to help (for about 5 minutes….)

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Pealed tomatoes…

And Chopped…

(hmmm….. every step of the process seems to shrink my tomato supply… starting to worry…maybe I didn’t need to sterilize so many containers…)

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Getting everything in the pot…

(p.s. see the beauty below… my beautiful Le Creuset… a happy 10 year gift from the hubby)

And thus begins the simmer….

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and stir….

and simmer and stir…

and simmer…

and stir…

and stir…

and simmer…

and so on and so on and so on…

From start to finish the whole process took me over….

wait for it….

wait for it…

FIVE HOURS!!!!

and even after doubling the recipe…

I got a total of 3 1/2  whole jars!!

(A total of 84 oz.)

Ready for the freezer.

WOW! Kind of anti-climactic. Sad smile

Not exactly what I had originally thought… but from my spoonful taste tests… I will say I am pleased!

 

I am proud of myself that I put our harvest to good use, that none of it will go to waste and that I made something healthy for my fam…

and Lord knows we are pasta people here in our house, so my special sauce will be enjoyed. 

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And guess what… there are still plenty more tomatoes on our plant… in-fact I picked several more as my sauce was stewing…

I’m thinking

Ina's Tomato Soup

for my next tomato recipe…

or maybe I’ll just stick to salads…

Winking smile

Sunday, July 10, 2011

When Nate’s here…

 

WE SMILE!!!!

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My brother is in town and today we had a family bbq to celebrate his birthday… (7/7/87)… and it’s true…

when Nate is here…

smiles are plentiful!

 

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The Huckabone Family…

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Happy Birthday, Nate!

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On Thursday we reached a milestone…

Can’t believe it’s been TEN years since the day we said “we do.”

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I’m not going to deny it… I still like him. Winking smile

Happy anniversary to my better half!

The 4th…

We had a very laid back, casual kinda 4th…

Uncle Philip and Aunt Donna came over for some hamburgers, smore’s and fireworks.

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There was swimming… water play galore!

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(yes, that is a lighter our son is about to eat… great parenting!Winking smile)

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Two of our favorite people.

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Freedom… a most wonderful reason to celebrate!

Happy birthday to the land that we love!

What’s up doc?

Time for  a little blog catch up….

A week and a half ago…

At 18 weeks…

We went to the doctor and…

We got a chance to see our girl.

Little miss Leah  did NOT hold still at all and was pretty much a constant blur on the screen… but the tech said “all looks healthy and normal.” Sizing just right! Smile

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creepy foot…Winking smile

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And,yes, it was indeed confirmed that SHE is very much a SHE! Winking smile

And also…

along with the “what’s up doc” theme….

Look what we grew…

YEP! So cool, right!?! Last year we grew carrots that looked more like peach colored crayons…. (used) Sad smile So sad. But this year… we must have the fertilizer mix just right, cause we got some beauties!

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Our carrots have made our salads extra yummy and today I used some to make this….

Carrot Cake

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I think I am going to make some Mexican Hot Carrots to jar the rest! Smile

In other garden news… (cause you are so interested, right?Winking smile)

Our tomato plants are exploding with juicy redness, we’ve already harvested and gobbled some beautiful beets and the dill and parsley in our garden have been abundant.

Our garage actually smells like dill because I am attempting to dry some…. we’ll see. Smile In the mean time every time I walk into our garage I think of ranch dressing.