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8/27/14

Easy Method Spicy Tomato Juice to Enjoy Now and Later (Using a Juice Extractor)

This morning I had an 8:30 AM appointment with our "EGG MAN" Harry B.  Harry asked yesterday if I could use more tomatoes to can and of course I was happy he did!  Never did I dream he would have near a 100 pounds waiting for me!  WELL, HE DID!

SO.........I have just finished hauling 18 bags filled to the brim of fresh, picked yesterday, red ripe and juicy, Indiana home grown tomatoes out of the Durango and into the house!

(And I was going to start my sewing today.)

Harry also shared with me his neighbors tried and true quicker and easier way of making tomato juice and canning it for winter.  This is great as I have never had a great love for the food mill.  Plus, I do own a nice juice extractor I had never thought of using in this way.

Use this method adjusting for any quantity of tomatoes on hand and to your taste.  If you do not like the spicy version just omit the peppers.  1 teaspoon of salt is pretty standard per quart of juice and I like fresh lemon juice but bottled will so, use 2 Tablespoons per quart.

Easier Home Canned Tomato Juice:

Scald glass canning jars and caps and lids.  Keep the lids and caps in simmering water until ready to use.  Sterilize glass canning jars.

Assemble juice extractor, large stock pots or soup kettles. hot pads, spoons, ladles, measuring spoon, and funnel, clean towels, and paper towels.

Wash the tomatoes.  Quarter the larger ones to fit into the intake chute of your juice extractor.  Have a large plastic liner in a basket handy to empty the pulp in to discard.

Place the tomatoes through the extractor measuring the juice and emptying it into the stock pot.  Season with salt, lemon juice, hot peppers, and anything else your family likes.  Harry uses 3-4 hot peppers per quart.  Whew!

Bring the juice to a boil and simmer at a minimum 10 minutes as you skim the top for foam.

I try to time this so the canning jars are just coming out of my dishwasher from the sanitize cycle, the caps and lids are simmering away, and the juice is simmering.   Now when all is ready fill the hot jars and cap, being sure you wipe the jar edges clean and leave 1/2" head space.  Harry said he processes 5 minutes but his neighbor does not process at all.  Most recipes advise processing between 10 and 45 minutes in a water bath with 1" of water above the lid tops.  Start the timer AFTER the water has come to a full rolling boil.

When the processing is complete cool the jars sitting on clean tea towels for 24 hours.  Store for up to a year in a cool dark place.

NOTE:  This is from my first test batch and I used  my large soup kettle and about 12-15 pounds of tomatoes which yielded 5 quarts of juice.  I added  1 1/2 jalapeno peppers to this batch along with the salt and lemon juice.  It was mildly spicy, you tasted the peppers but it did not burn.  Just an FYI in case you were wondering.  Now off to do more, 16 more sacks of tomatoes await me.



8/24/14

Sewing Again, Selection is the Start!

I see a big bag of kitchen goodies in a cheery red bag!
Friday I went through every piece of fabric in the 6 large tubs of woven fabrics I have kept and separated them by color.  This will make projects much easier then randomly rummaging for fabric regardless of the project.  I need to get busy sewing and quilting now even though there is still a bit of cleaning to do.

I plan to start a special gift for my best friends recently married daughter. (I have known her since her birth!) The newlyweds reside in North Carolina and enjoy day trips to the city, beach, and she likes to fool around in the kitchen a bit too.  So I am planing a bright happy tote bag stocked with kitchen treasures. 

So, yesterday I made it and stocked it in my mind!  Next I went to the RED WOVEN crate of fabric and after touching every single piece of fabric, selected a red and white pillow ticking for the outside of the bag.  Then I choose a deep deep dark red with cream fine cotton print for the liner. My next challenge was to find the correct weight flat batting to place between the layers.  Happily it was in the first trunk I looked into!  In my mind I saw a big antique button as the closure held in place with red ribbon and red strapping for handles.  Easily these items were found and I am happy. 

After finishing the loads of laundry I had going I pitched the fabrics into the washer as is my habit ALWAYS to wash and dry all of my fabrics before I start cutting!  I am ready to start.

8/23/14

Deep Dark Chewy Cocoa Brownies

I wish you could smell these!
At home growing up we used both cocoa and chocolate for baking but faced with having no chocolate we always had cocoa and soon learned it could be substituted and in my opinion was better tasting! So I always go for the cocoa recipes! As you may know I am dieting "pre" knee surgery and I have a "free day" when I can eat whatever I want!  I start mine at supper Sat. night and run it through Supper Sun. night.  So, I am really looking forward to these! And yes, I have lost 10 pounds and am quite happy! (See Slow Carb Diet)

This recipe is all over the Internet.  Every place I looked it was there so I have no idea of it's origins.  I used the one found on inspiredtaste.net only because it was the first one I clicked onto.

Ingredients for Fudgy Brownies:

10 T. butter
1 1/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. + 2 T. unsweetened cocoa
1/4 t. kosher salt
1 t. vanilla
2 large cold eggs
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
2/3 C. chopped nuts, optional

Place the oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.  Line the bottom and sides of an eight inch square pan with foil or parchment paper. leaving overhangs.       

Form a double boiler by placing a small amount of water in a pan and bring to a simmer.  Set a heat proof bowl above the simmering water,  Be sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.  Combine butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in the bowl and stir occasionally as the butter melts.

After the butter is melted and the mixture is stirred together remove it from the heal and cool for 5 minutes.  It should be warm not hot.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon.  Next add the eggs one at a time stirring vigorously after each.  When the batter is thick and shiny add the flour stirring until incorporated.  Now beat for 40 or 50 strokes.  Stir in the nuts.

16 lovely squares of deliciousness!
Spread into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out ALMOST clean.  Cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing.  Yield 16 squares.