Monthly Archives: September 2010

Sauce, of the Tomato Persuasion

Well, I did it. I made and canned tomato sauce and to be quite honest, I don’t think I’m gonna do it again. It was a big, messy, pain in my ass that took hours, especially since we experienced a power outage during the cook down. Just look at my messy stove!!

For 2 hours my sauce sat there idle. Why did the power go out you ask? Not from the storm, which turned out to be light rain, some thunder, and a little bit of wind, but due to the fact some idiot drove their car into a pole and wiped out the power. It had been very hot and very dry for WEEKS and we all know (apparently not) that the oil in the asphalt makes its way to the surface. Then when it rains the roads become extremely slick. That was annoyance number one. Then there was the fact that 3 days later I was still soaking and scrubbing the bottom of my heavy-duty 16 quart stock pot trying to clean off the burnt sauce. I ended up resorting to the use of my hand sander. Worked like a charm!

All of that work and I still end up with a measly count of 16 pints of ridiculously bangin’ sauce! I used the recipe from the Ball Blue Book for Canning and made some slight adjustments. I used a blend of chippilinni and stuttgarter onions and instead of pepper flakes I used my mombasa powder.

I prefer a chunky sauce so I blanched the tomatoes to remove the skins and then quartered them. The recipe called for quartering, cooking and then running it through a food mill. Seeing as how I did not want to lose my chunks of garlic and onion so I skipped that step.

I dehydrated my ‘mater skins and then attempted to powder them for future use in soups. Yeah, that didn’t work so well. Try as I might to lead a low impact waste not want not kind of life, sometimes I fail. I could not get the leathery skins to chop in my grinder so I gave the mortar and pastel approach a whirl, nope. In the end they were composted, so on the green scale it still evens out.

Seasoned Tomato Sauce –  from the Ball Blue Book

45 lbs of tomatoes
6 cups chopped onions
12 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp oregano
6 bay leaves
1/4 cup salt
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tsp crushed red pepper (I subbed mombasa powder)
bottled lemon juice

Quarter tomatoes and set aside. I blanched mine then removed the core and skins. Saute onion and garlic in oil in a large sauce pot. Add tomatoes and spices. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves. Press mixture through a food mill or sieve, discard seeds and skins (I skipped this step). Cook pulp in a large uncovered sauce pot over med-high heat until sauce thickens, stirring to prevent sticking. Reduce volume by one half for a thick sauce. Add 2 Tbsp bottled lemon juice per quart jar and 1 Tbsp per pint jar. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars leaving 1/4″ head space. Wipe rims and adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 35 minutes and quarts 40 minutes in BWB.


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Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Spices & Sauces, Vegan, Vegetarian

Wordless Wednesday – Carrots

Images and content copyright © 2009-2010 Danielle R Limoge.

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Batter Up

After listening to an entomologist on NPR’s Radio Smart Talk, I’ve learned the best defense against cicada killers is to smack them with a wiffel ball bat. Dude, I’m so game!

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Filed under The Critters

Wordless Wednesday – Dehydrating Fail

Images and content copyright © 2009-2010 Danielle R Limoge.


Filed under Dehydrating, Wordless Wednesday

My Summer Staple

Vine ripened tomatoes, feta, basil and pomegranate infused balsamic vinegar.

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Baba Ganoush

This year I decided to grow Listada de Gandia, which is a lovely striped Italian eggplant. I selected this variety not only for its aesthetic qualities but for its flavor and high yield as well. The fruits are about 6-8 inches and have a thin skin. Their true coloring is more of a dark purple; the sun washed this picture out a bit.

Baba Ganoush
2-3 eggplant (I used 3 since mine were on the smaller side. I’m still battling Colorado Potato Beetles; they usually eat just my leaves but I wasn’t taking any chances, so I picked mine a little early!)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c tahini paste
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin

Roast eggplant halves at 400 for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Scoop eggplant flesh from shell and place in a food processor, add remaining ingredients and puree. I slathered mine on a toasted asiago bagel and added a sprinkling of sesame and poppy seeds! Open-faced sandwiches topped with fennel seeds, tomato and onion are a good combination too! 


Filed under Vegan, Vegetarian

Garden View – August

OK, did I miss something? How is it already September? When did this happen and more importantly why was I not consulted?
It’s full on harvest season and I am now canning on a daily basis. I haven’t turned my AC on in the past three weeks because it is a waste of energy. Once my canner gets going and I am blanching veggies the temperature in my house rises well over 95 degrees. I don’t know how hot it actually gets seeing as my thermostat only goes as high as 90. I actually have to step outside into the sweltering heat to get any kind of relief!


Here are a few pictures of my garden during the month of August.
The corn stalks were removed mid month as were my mammoth sunflowers. In its place I planted four more zucchini, four Waltham Butternut Squash and four Sweet Dumpling winter squash.


From L-R I have eggplant, pole beans, carrots, beets and chard.


Behind my Rainbow Chard are two rows of beans and then a mess of tomato plants!



On the other side of my maters are my peppers but you can’t see them.


Told you my tomatoes were a mess! I need to get in there this weekend and trim some of the bottom clutter away!


Beets with Carrots to the right


I have mini melons in a container that I may end up transplanting into the main garden. I’ll just dig a huge hole and stick them in as to not disturb the roots!


My first “green pepper” making it’s way to a sweet tasty yellow pepper!


Amish Paste Tomatoes


Yellow Wax Beans.




Hot Peppers!!


Eggplants ready to be picked!


Cream Sausage Tomatoes (that is the bottom clutter I need to clean out!)

Images and content copyright © 2009-2010 Danielle R Limoge.

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Wordless Wednesday – DE Dust Cloud

Images and content copyright © 2009-2010 Danielle R Limoge.


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