Friday, 31 August 2012

Where Have We Been?

I know, I know it's been awhile since our last post but we have a good excuse. It is tomato season!!! That means sauce :) Yummy! We buy plum tomatoes and grind them into liquid and boil it down to make beautiful bright red tomato sauce. We work hard to wash the tomatoes, cut up the tomatoes, put the tomatoes through the tomato mill, then we cook the tomato juice to get some of the liquid out, then we bottle/can the tomato sauce. It is an all day process, and it is a little very messy! This year we invested in an electric tomato mill. What a time saver and boy do my arms thank me. We also got as much juice out of 2 bushels of tomatoes that we got out of 3 bushels last year when we hand cranked it. Now the tomatoes are very juicy this year but we ended up with the same number of jars of sauce as last year. 28 x 1 litre bottles.

Yes that's an old sewing table base. This is set up #2 and it worked so much better.
We taped lids from new take out containers to help sort the pulp from the juice and to direct the juice into the pot and not all over the person feeding the tomatoes into the mill.
Lovely juice boiling down into sauce.
We add lemon juice and basil leaves then process/can it and store it in the basement until we need it. Doesn't it look beautiful?

Sharon had the brilliant idea to make ketchup with the 3rd bushel of tomatoes. So another day of washing, cutting, grinding and boiling. This time we had to add spices and vinegar... but we didn't want to make the commercial ketchup so we looked for recipes and tasted ketchup then tasted our ketchup then added spices then tasted some more (I don't think I could eat ketchup for a few weeks now) the recipes either started with cut up tomatoes, or juice and were hard to convert to the amount of juice we had so we tasted our way to success. (As you know Sharon doesn't really follow recipes).

Here's the ketchup having a steam bath!!!
Our finished ketchup labeled and dated. Hey it matches our wall colour!

Next we cooked corn and sliced it off the cob and vacuum sealed it for winter. Then Sharon chopped up leeks and vacuum sealed them for winter too. I wonder sometimes, does she think we are Pioneers? I do appreciate the flavours of real local vegetables in the middle of the winter. When you're a vegetarian you eat a lot of vegetables :)

During this frenzy in the kitchen I managed to make myself a purse using a pattern from a library book. I did not get my Free motion Challenge done for this month. :(
Front flap of messenger bag.

Side pocket #1 for my phone.

Side pocket #2 for glasses. My strap is adjustable. I sewed the main fabric to webbing to keep the strap stiff, I find the fabric and pellon straps get floppy after awhile.

Double set of front pockets.

I learned how to make a set in zipper pocket.

I added these pockets from other patterns i have made.

This is even more organization if I need it and it fits inside. or I can carry my iPad inside instead.

We went to the Farmer's market one last time (well for the Friday market) and said good bye to all the farmers we visit every week.
Lovely vegetables.

Why is this the last week for the Farmer's market, it isn't, but we have to go back to school and we can't go in late on a Friday just so we can shop!!! We did think about how we could do it but it won't work. Oh well suck it up Buttercup and back to work we'll go!


  1. Your tomato sauce looks so good! Happy canning!

  2. OOH, I love that tote! (Melody Miller=True Genius.) And there is nothing like homemade tomato sauce. I made it for the first time this year from farmer's market tomatoes, and ohmigoodness, I'll never go back! :)

    Visiting from Lily's Quilts!

    1. There is nothing like the taste of local in season tomatoes!

  3. I love the messenger bag - its gorgeous! And homemade ketchup sounds deeelicious :)

  4. I enjoyed your post! I have wonderful memories helping my Mom put up tomatoes. And the purse is fabulous and practical-good combo!

  5. Hi from Lily's Quilts Small Blog Linkup! I love your bag, and I love your sauce. A little oilcloth lining, maybe and you could be combining the two and creating a whole line of Farmer's Market grocery bags!

    1. Keep reading, we might go into business yet. Tee Hee!

  6. That looks fun! I love your bag - what a great job.

  7. That's an interessting way of preserving tomatoes - I learned to peel the tomatoes and then just slice them and boil them, that leaves all the seeds in the pulp/mess. I did some "ready to go" tomato sauce this year. I never use big bottles, 1/2 liter jars are the biggest I use but then I rarely get to cook for a big group.
    Do you have something like "farmers market boxes"? - Here some farmers, suually from small organic farms, offer a box of vegetables, whatever the season has on offer and they deliver them.

  8. That's a lovely messenger bag and I'm extremely jealous of your canning. It'd be so nice to have a big pantryand invest a little bit of time to have a great stock of essentials consisitng of exactly what *you've
    put into them. One day. Totally getting an appetite for tomato sauce, mabye with courgettes and mushrooms, and some spaghetti right now. If only it weren't nearly 11:30pm and me nearly ready for catching zzz's... :)

  9. Love the messenger bag, i really need to make myself a new one for the autumn/winter season as my old one is exhausted, and needs to be retired! All that ketchup is pretty impressive, you must be exhauseted.

  10. The bag looks great, Barb! You've got everything so nicely organized!

  11. Love your messenger bag -- those typewriters are always a favorite too!

  12. Now visiting back! The bag looks really nice, but I am so interested in your conserves... I am going to keep an eye for your recipes as well!

  13. Mmmm that tomato sauce looks so good and so fresh! Next year, I WILL get my garden going better so I can do something similar.