My next project was to put up two bushels (50 pounds) of tomatoes. I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking when I purchased the corn and tomatoes at the same time, but just let me tell you it wasn't the brightest idea I've ever had. That being said, in one weekend of work, I basically preserved all the "big stuff" and now don't have it to worry about. Having decided that we liked it better than all other sauces we have tried, we made four batches of Roasted Garlic and Herb Pasta Sauce which churned out a grand total of 25 pints of sauce. This will also get us through until next year. It's nice not to go to the grocery often during the fall and winter. It turns all the hard work into something well worth the effort. Not to mention that what we are eating tastes fresher and is healthier than anything you could purchase.
I also found some great finds on other blogs which turned out really well. I won't post the recipes, but the pictures are mine (as poor as they may be...I was working with my phone camera). Click the links to get the recipes. They were all really delicious and definite keepers.
#1 Roasted Tomatoes-
I found these tomatoes over at Thy Hand Hath Provided (one of my favorite blogs) and she had gotten the recipe/technique over at Mama's Minutia. These tomatoes taste like they are sun dried, but they are instead roasted overnight in a low and slow oven. They are rich and chewy with a deep tomato flavor. I made one batch which found its way into the freezer along with another batch of cherry tomatoes roasted the same way (but for only a couple of hours) which made its way into roasted tomato pesto (I will share soon). I will definitely be making these again as soon as I can get my hands on more Roma tomatoes. Unfortunately I did not grow Romas this year which I now regret after trying this recipe.
#2 Spaghetti with Garlic Gravy, Lemon Chicken, and Cherry Tomatoes-
This recipe came from Goddess of Scrumptiousness and turned out to really be scrumptious. My picture is nowhere near Jeannie's in quality, but I include it here just to show that I did actually make it and it worked. The only change I made was to add cherry tomatoes that had been roasted in the oven for 20 minutes or so until they softened (my husband is not fond of raw tomato). The garlic gravy in this dish is amaaaazing! It coats the pasta perfectly and tastes rich and creamy. I did cut back on the oil and butter a bit, but it didn't affect the end product. I generally dislike leftovers, but I ate this pasta two days in a row for lunch and felt a little disappointed when it was gone. It was that good.
#3 Russian Fruit Compote-
My last find of the week hails from The Girls' Guide to Guns and Butter, and it turns out that this drink is the perfect way to use up fruit you may have around that is a bit past its prime (maybe shriveled a bit) but still usable. You just boil whatever fruit you have with water and sugar to make a delicious and refreshing summer beverage. I used blackberries in the picture shown, but Sofya used currants. The compote is as beautiful to look at as it is to drink, and I am enjoying every sip.
Next time I post I will tell you about the pesto I made with the roasted tomatoes. Until then, keep canning and give these recipes a shot.