Thursday, August 4, 2011

There's a reason its called "Miracle" Gro

Small Sampling of Our Tomato Harvest
Its harvest time around our house and we've got more tomatoes than we know what to do with.  This is the first year I've had a garden. I usually manage to kill things right away but I must say my garden is doing particularly well. My husband was kind enough to build me a 4' x 8' cedar box. I decided to splurge and purchase Miracle-Gro garden soil for it. WOW! I'd like to say that I'm a fantastic gardener but I think the secret to my success is probably the soil. Lets just say I have "tomato jungle" going on.

My hubby, standing next to "Tomato Jungle"
A co-worker of mine said he used to have a garden but he got tired of having a bumper crop for a few weeks and then nothing....Well the key to that problem is successive sowing and not planting everything at once.  I started a few plants indoors ahead of time, some I planted directly outdoors when it finally got warm and then I just bought a few Bonnie Plants from Lowe's.  So far, the plan is working.  We've been harvesting tomatoes for weeks now...with no signs of it stopping!  Wondering what to do with all those extra tomatoes?  Well you could give them away...but I like to reap the benefits of my labors.  I've started making homemade spaghetti sauce to freeze.  Its so easy....a domestically inept person can do it...which brings me to my next topic:

Peelin' Maters':

The first step in making your own spaghetti sauce is to peel the tomato.  Here's how you do it...its so easy I promise:
  • First wash your tomatoes and mark an "x" on the end opposite the stem with a paring knife
"X" Marks the Spot
  • In a large stock pot, bring about 6 cups of water to a rolling boil
  • While you are waiting for the water to boil, prepare an "ice bath" (and no this isn't to rest your weary feet).  You do this by filling a bowel with ice water.  I hard.
  • Once the water is boiling start plopping your maters' in there a few at a time.  It only takes about 30-60 seconds for their skins to start peeling.  
"Its gettin' hot in here!"
  • As soon as this happens, remove them from the boiling water (using tongs) and plunge them into the ice bath. 
See the skin loosening off?
  • Remove the maters' from the ice bath and the skins will peel right off.  
Like taking candy from a baby
  • You can use this same procedure for removing the skins from peaches if you want to make your own peach jam (which I highly recommend because its awesome)
Now you are ready to proceed with making your own spaghetti sauce....which will be covered in a later post!  

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