Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Garden pics and Hades

Good Morning Everyone,

Just a quick pics of the garden.  Please forgive the photos as my camera is not the best. It is a cheap, poor quality one, but it gets the job done until I can afford a better one.

The garden where I have the cukes and Roma tomatoes and the Super Sweet 100's cherry has gone insane.  I do not know why as the heat here is relentless but when we put this side in, D dug a trench and mulched both sides and we water about twice a week and it is doing great.  I have not seen bugs either, but we do powder down some things and just hope for the best.  The cukes we are getting are very sweet, crunchy and no bitterness.  The cukes I planted were Tasty Green's and a greenhouse cuke called an "Isnik" from the garden catalog.  These are smaller, but very crunchy and this is the second year I had these and they have performed well, even in this intense heat we are having with the drought.  But again, we have trenched and mulched.

This year, my heart just is not into gardening.  I think its the combination of heat, and of too much going on and me doing to much for too many.  So, for canning, I am just going to process tomatoes and cukes as is, and when I need sauce, or salsa, I can just add my ingredients as I need them.  When peppers start coming, I will do the same, just pickle and put up.  There will be no way that I can do more with the amount of time and be more selective in making salsa, or tomato sauce or ketchup.  I am just in the mood to  cheat or make it more simple to put everything up and then when I have more time, and hopefully more cooler, I will be able to make my salsa, and sauces at a later date.  I would like to freeze, but I have no room for anything in the freezer at the moment either, so I will have to just cut corners and make things easier.
To make things quicker, and I put this question out to my readers who have canned forever, can I cheat and just put tomatoes in a roaster pan or crock pot and heat through and then just peel the skins?  There will be no way I can boil water, then dunk tomatoes then peel  time wise, I just can't, but I see if I heat  them up and then peel and then process, I see no difference?  Any suggestions?   I was planning on putting the tomatoes in my large Hamilton Beach roaster pan and putting this outside on my table on the porch and do it this way to keep the heat out of the kitchen. 

Other than the relentless heat, which it is running at or over 100* daily, not too much going on.  The kittens are growing and are now exploring their room I have them in.  They are now using the box, even little tiny grey girl, and she is now eating solid food and getting things figured out.  I did not think that I would see her or Dexter doing this, not after the way they came to me in the shape they were in. I am still amazed and also thankful beyond prayers.

Well, not much is going on.  I still want to do my post that I mentioned several weeks ago about discussion as of what is going on in the country, and the Supreme court's decisions.  I have some things on my mind but then I had the kitten emergency and I got side tracked.  I will work on something and get this out.

Until then, I wish all a wonderful week, stay cool, and try to get through life in general.

Hugs to All.


  1. I would think you could put the tomatoes in the roaster. I have a Squeezo and a Kitchen Aid juicer that don't require me to peel the tomatoes before processing. I have found the best thing to do is experiment! Give the roaster idea a try and then report back to us so we all know how it works!

  2. It sounds like you are more than keeping busy, despite the sweltering heat (I couldn't cope with that, no WAY!) Your garden is so productive. Along with many British gardeners this year, I have more or less given up on mine. If it grows, it grows, but I'm not hopeful . . . For the first time EVER, my runner beans are positively leafless and anorexic, but they do have a few more flowers on now, and the French beans (in tubs) are growing now I have used Organic safe-t-pets-and-birds slug bait. 2nd sowing of carrots (under glass, to repel slugs) have sprouted through, and ditto Spring Onions. If only I could have them in hanging baskets . . .

    Hope the kitties continue to thrive. You are SO good to them.

  3. I never peel my tomatoes. I chop them roughly, add whatever I'm adding (courgettes, aubergines, or a mixture), then process as usual. Mostly I do ratatouille. I use the 'Le Parfait' system with the thin metal capsules; it seems faultless.

    My Roma toms have behaved rather oddly this year. Usually they become quite big bushes, but this year they are only about a foot tall and swamped with fruit. Must be a new variety.

  4. So pleased to hear that the kittens are comming along in leaps and bounds ...thanks to you.
    Sorry i cant help with canning etc but with your heat i should imagine that you could make some sun dried toms and then store them in oil...or bottle a few whole. Good Luck xx

  5. Yes you certainly can leave the skins on, if you plan to put them through a sieve or something later on. The pieces of skins will roll up in tight little rolls and they will be impossible to chew. I've never tried running them through a blender to see if they'd blend right into the puree. I have a Squeeze-O and when I run tomatoes through it, it takes out skin AND seeds, but before I got that I always used one of those cone-shaped sieves on a stand and it did the job.

  6. Have you got a name for your little grey girl yet? I thought of "Whisper" because she is a little shadow of a kitten so far.

    Today I got a box of use-quickly small Plum tomatoes from Abergwili, so I will cook them up later for tomato sauce/passata. About 8 lbs of tomatoes for £1!