Tomato Jam

Probably my last ripe tomato harvest for the season. I decided to go with a long term use of turning these tomatoes into a delicious tomato jam.

These guys are pretty big and at various stages or ripe. I somewhat followed a pintrest recipe because time and ingredients were an issue.

General basis of this recipe is chop up the tomatoes, throw the other ingredients into the pot and let it simmer. The original recipe said to simmer for 4-5 hours. I really dont have that kind of time to hover over a pot waiting for liquid to evaporate so I used a higher heat for a longer period of time before switching to a simmer.

This process help evaporate a lot of the liquid quickly in under 30 minutes and without compromising texture too much. In the end I was able to get it done in about 2.5 hours and boy is it tastey!

Tomato Sauce Night!

I started my week by picking a bunch of ripe heirloom tomatoes from my garden. Since there was a lot of them I decided to let them sit for a week to soften up so I could make homemade tomato sauce.

I started by cutting, trimming and peeling all the tomatoes. I then smooshed all the chunks through a wire mesh strainer to make all the seeds and white parts easier to remove from the tomatoes.

Added all my spices and let it simmer for a while. It really smelled wonderful while this was simmering. Even my dog Taco was interested.

The final result! A little thicker than normal but it looked great over the pasta for dinner. ❤

Its Pickling Time!

I finally had an opportunity to make some bread and butter pickles out of my Mexican Sour Gerhkin harvest.

I used a recipe that I found on pintrest and made a few alterations. For starters, I had to double the recipe for the amount of cucumbers I harvested. Due to availability, I could not get ahold of mustard seeds so I used ground mustard instead. I also did not submerge the jars into water to seal them.

The brine itself smelled so very yummy while it was simmering. Very aromatic! Since I did not want to locate, unbury, and clean the large canning pot I had to go with a refrigerator pickling method. After the brine was ready to come off the heat, I allowed it to cool.

After the brine was cooled it was time to fill and close the jars. 3 jars in total for this harvest and more are still growing.

First Harvest

Last night was my first harvest from my garden! Very late in the planting season I got an heirloom tomato, 5 Japanese eggplants, and 6 cucumbers as baby plants. I then planted them in one of the flowers beds at my grandparents place. I had to plant around the peony bush, but I think it turned out well.

The plants have been growing since the end of June. I honestly doubt I’m going to get eggplants this year because of the rats and squirrels eating anything that gets to be about half the size they should be.

I finally have 1 heirloom. I’ve had a lot of large green tomatoes sitting there for a long time. 1 of them finally turned red. It’s not in the best of conditions but a large portion of it should still be eatable.

I also had a very interesting surprise with my cucumber plants. I thought I had regular seedless cucumbers, after they started growing I realized that these were not normal cucumbers and did some research.

Turns out that these little guys are Mexican Sour Gerhkins. It’s a rare seed variety (in the U.S.) that only grows to the size of a grape. The skin is eatable so rinse and snack is an option. It tastes like a cucumber with a bit a citrus/sour flavor.

I think though with this amount I’m going to pickle these guys. Unless someone out there has a recipe I could try?