Monday, June 14, 2010

Garden Harvest

This has been a busy week!  I was asked to help with an Enrichment activity on Gardening (in particular, Harvesting) to be held in my yard this past week.  I have spent the several weeks putting together this spreadsheet with a lot of information on what to do with the yummy vegetables that we grow.  Hopefully this will be a good reference!  Note: This was made for my altitude (4000-6000 ft). If you use this as a reference, and live at a different altitude, you would need to adjust times, and pressures.
Garden Harvest 4000-6000 ft
Happy Harvesting!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tomato Powder

I recently went to Emergency Essentials to purchase tomato powder.  I about died when I saw the price!  It was $19.99 for a can- on sale!  At Macey's it was $27.99 per can!  I decided that this year, I am going to make my own.  As soon as the garden is plentiful enough, I can use home grown tomatoes.  For now, I  used supermarket tomatoes that were on sale for a great price, so I tried it with them.  It worked great!  What can you use tomato powder for?  Mix it with a little water and you have tomato paste!  Want sauce? Add a bit more water.  It can also be used for pizza sauce (mix 2 parts water, some olive oil, herbs and a pinch of sugar), and spaghetti sauce.  It can also thicken soups, stews, chili, etc.  Throw some in your artisan bread (with rosemary, or basil and garlic... yummmmm...).  Tomato powder is a great thing for your everyday cooking, as well as an excellent food storage item.  It takes much less space to store than the canned products.  It tastes fantastic!  Beware, it can go hard quickly if improperly stored.  Keep it as airtight as possible! Just about any variety of tomato would work. Go for the ones with the most robust flavor.  I can't wait to make this with my own homegrown tomatoes!

  1. Select ripe tomatoes.  Wash and remove stem.  No need to peel.
  2. Cut in thicker slices (1/4-1/3").  If the slices are too thin, for some reason they do not blend up as well.
  3. Dehydrate until very crisp.  In my dehyrator it took about 12 hours (at 130 degrees).
  4. Let cool.  Check for crispness.  They must be completely dry!
  5. Put in blender, and blend away!!  For a chunkier end product (to use with salsa, soups, spaghetti sauce), leave chunks in the powder. For a smoother product, blend until a fine powder is achieved. 
  6. If possible, seal in mason jar with the food saver attachment. 
Note: To shorten the drying time, you can squeeze all the juice out of the tomatoes prior to drying.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Mmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmmm!  We love pizza!  Every Friday night at our house is homemade pizza night.  The kids generally make it themselves now, and it turns out delicious each time.  This is a recipe for pizza sauce that we really like.  Why pay $2.69 for a jar when this tastes even better at a fraction of the cost?

Pizza Sauce:
16 oz tomato paste
18 oz tomato sauce
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix together.  Will do (2 )13-16 inch pizzas.  We like to heat it up and dip breadsticks in it too!  Enjoy!